Pioneers place second in Cheyenne tournament

Key conference games this weekend

Posted 7/9/24

A challenging tournament in Cheyenne helped the Powell Pioneers get some of their swagger back last weekend, going 3-3 and finishing second at the Mountain West World Series. Powell lost to the …

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Pioneers place second in Cheyenne tournament

Key conference games this weekend


A challenging tournament in Cheyenne helped the Powell Pioneers get some of their swagger back last weekend, going 3-3 and finishing second at the Mountain West World Series. Powell lost to the Cheyenne Hawks 6-5 and the Cheyenne Sixers 6-2, defeated Lightning Baseball 10-0 and the Rocky Mountain Oysters 11-6. Powell defeated Collins Collab 2-1 in the semifinal, then lost to the Sixers 4-0 in the championship game on Sunday.

“I was wondering when we left on Thursday if this was my best idea doing this ‘AA’ tournament in Cheyenne, but I think it was the best thing I could’ve done at this time of year,” manager Jason Borders said.



Kicking off the tournament against the Hawks (27-19 overall), the Pioneers (36-17 overall, 5-3 ‘A’ Northwest) looked for fireworks early on the Fourth of July against one of the hometown teams.

Powell took the lead early, when Cade Queen stepped up and hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first to make it 1-0.

Despite loading the bases in the second inning, Powell did not find a way to extend the lead until the top of the third.

Queen once again stepped up and hit a leadoff home run to left field to make it 2-0.

An inning later the Pioneers found another run, starting with a walk to Aiden Greenwald and a single to Jacob Gibson.

Brock Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice to advance Greenwald to third, and then Jordan Loera hit into an error to score the run and make it 3-0.

Cheyenne got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, when three hits brought in two runs and made it 3-2.

Powell responded to re-establish the advantage, when Dalton Worstell and Greenwald walked to lead off the top of the sixth.

Worstell advanced to third after tagging up on a pop out, before Johnson doubled to score a run and make it 4-2.

Trey Stenerson reached on a single to lead off the seventh, and Jhett Schwahn joined him to put two on with no outs.

Both runners advanced on a balk, before Stenerson was out advancing home on an Ethan Welch ground out.

Worstell followed with a ground out, allowing Schwahn to score and add an insurance run up 5-2.

Unfortunately, the Hawks started strong in the bottom of the seventh with two singles and a walk scoring a run before Powell got its first out with a fielder’s choice.

“There were a couple of double play balls that we didn’t turn,” Borders said.

A walk loaded the bases, before a fielder’s choice got the runner out at first, but a run scored and made it 5-4.

Cheyenne singled to tie, and another single brought in the winning run and gave Cheyenne the 6-5 win.

Both teams recorded eight hits in the game, with Cheyenne committing the only error.

Queen led at the plate going 2-4 with two RBIs, while Johnson and Worstell each had an RBI.

Loera gave up eight hits over the full game, walking three and striking out five.

“It wasn’t really Jordan’s fault, there were just balls that bounced weird and were long turns (for double plays),” Borders said.



On Friday the Pioneers matched up with the other Cheyenne team, the defending ‘AA’ state champion Sixers (54-12 overall).

Powell once again struck first, when Johnson led off with a single and stole second.

Stenerson brought him in on a two out double, and the Pioneers led 1-0 after the first.

Runs were few and far between for the contest until the hosts got things rolling in the bottom of the fifth.

Two singles got runners on with no outs, and a walk loaded the bases with one out.

“We were in control of it through the fifth, then they got a blooper towards third that was in no man’s land that we couldn’t find,” Borders said. “Then they bunted and we couldn’t get to it.”

A single scored a pair, before a passed ball scored another and made it 3-0.

An error scored another run, before an error rounded out the scoring for the Sixers, up 6-1.

“Bases loaded with no outs, you can’t do that with these teams,” Borders said.

Powell got a run back in the top of the seventh, after Welch reached on a one out error.

On that error he advanced all the way to second, before Worstell brought him in on a single to make it 6-2.

The Pioneers were unable to find their way back and the Sixers won 6-2.

Stenerson went 2-3 with an RBI while Worstell had the other RBI for the Pioneers.

Johnson went 3-4 at the plate, also throwing 4-2/3, giving up five hits and four earned runs with seven strikeouts.

Greenwald gave up one hit in relief.



Leading off a doubleheader on Saturday, the Pioneers took on the Lightning (8-17 overall) out of Parker, Colorado.

Powell again got off to a quick start, and this time expanded on it and put the contest out of reach early.

Johnson started off with a single, while Loera walked and Queen was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.

Stenerson was hit by a pitch to score one, before Schwahn walked to score another.

Cole Fauskee was hit by a pitch before Worstell singled to bring in a pair and make it 5-0.

The scoring stopped after a double play and ground out, but Powell picked up again in the bottom of the second.

Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off, but was out on a fielder’s choice that saw Loera get on first base.

Queen doubled to advance Loera to third, before Stenerson singled to score the pair and make it 7-0.

Schwahn singled, and Fauskee followed with another single to score Stenerson.

Worstell grounded out but scored Schwahn to make it 9-0 after the second.

“Everybody there is a good baseball team, we just got on them early,” Borders said.

Powell got its final run in the bottom of the third, when Johnson reached on a one-out single and advanced all the way to third on a steal and wild pitch.

Loera walked to join him, leading to Johnson eventually stealing home after Loera stole second to make it 10-0.

Powell finished the game, outhitting the Lighting 9-4 while the Pioneers committed the only error.

“It was just a good game to come out and play like we’re capable of playing,” Borders said.

Worstell led going 2-3 with three RBIs, Stenerson had three RBIs, Fauskee had two RBIs and Schwahn had an RBI.

Greenwald gave up four hits and had three strikeouts in the shutout.



In the second half of the doubleheader the Pioneers took on the Rocky Mountain Oysters (5-7 overall) out of Grand Junction, Colorado.

Powell got on the board first again, as Loera singled and Queen was hit by a pitch to put two on.

Loera advanced after tagging up on a fly out, before Schwahn was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs.

Fauskee hit into an error, clearing the bases to make it 3-0.

“We came out and got three on them then kind of went flat for two or three innings,” Borders said.

The Oysters got a run in the bottom of the first, after a single and triple brought in a run and made it 3-1.

A walk and an advanced runner put a runner in scoring position for the Oysters in the second, before an error scored the run and made it 3-2.

The Oysters took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, when a hit batter, an error, a single and a double led to three runs, making it 5-3.

Powell immediately responded in the top of the fifth, when Stenerson singled, Schwahn walked and Fauskee singled to load the bases with one out.

Worstell singled and scored a pair to tie the contest.

Fauskee stole third, before a balk scored him and gave Powell the lead.

Greenwald singled to reach, before Welch grounded into a fielder’s choice to make it 7-5.

Johnson singled and Loera was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Queen tripled, clearing the bases and extending the advantage to 10-5.

Stenerson hit into an error that scored Queen and made it 11-5.

A double and a single scored a run for the Oysters in the bottom of the fifth, but Powell didn’t allow them any closer in the 11-6 win.

Queen went 2-3 with three RBIs, Worstell had two RBIs  and Welch had one RBI.

Queen spread out six hits over six innings on the mound and had 12 strikeouts. Welch had one strikeout and no hits in relief.

“Cade pitched great. We played pretty clean all weekend,” Borders said.



Heading into Sunday the Pioneers matched up in the semifinal with the Collins Collab (8-5) out of Fort Collins, Colorado.

Runs were few and far between in the contest, but it was the Pioneers striking first.

In the top of the fourth, Queen and Schwahn each singled, before Welch hit a two out single to score both and give Powell a 2-0 lead.

“Ethan had a great weekend. He stepped up and played great all weekend defensively and at the plate,” Borders said.

A single and an error gave Collins base runners in the bottom of the fourth, before a single scored a run and made it 2-1.

Powell only allowed two base runners once in the bottom of the seventh, but the Pioneers held off any comeback attempts for the 2-1 win.

Both teams recorded six hits, while Powell committed the only error.

“They’re a well coached team so that was a huge win for us. They beat the Sixers the week before,” Borders said. “That was one of our biggest wins of the weekend.”

Welch had the only two RBIs, while Worstell got the complete game win on the mound, recording three strikeouts and one walk.



Heading to the championship game Sunday afternoon, the Pioneers once again matched up with the hometown Sixers.

Cheyenne got the scoring started in the bottom of the second, when a double put a runner on who advanced on a ground out and then a sac fly to score.

“The difference was that we got five singles and they got doubles and triples to manufacture some runs,” Borders said. 

In the third, a hit batter advanced to second on a steal, before a double scored another run to make it 2-0.

A triple led off the bottom of the fourth, and a ground out scored the third run for the Sixers.

The final run came in the bottom of the sixth, when a walked batter stole second, before a single scored him and made it 4-0.

“The kid (Braden Pearson) that pitched against us was the real deal,” Borders said. “We earned a lot of respect from everybody (down there). They were impressed with the quality we played at.”

Both teams had five hits and committed no errors.

Stenerson gave up five hits over six innings and struck out four on the mound.



Powell now will wrap up the conference season this week, starting with a home doubleheader against the Lovell Mustangs (17-20-2 overall, 5-3 ‘A’ Northwest) at 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The Pioneers will wrap up conference play at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday at Cody, taking on the Cubs (30-14-1 overall, 8-2 ‘A’ Northwest).

“We gotta split with Lovell and beat Cody twice (to get the No. 1 seed),” Borders said. “It’s baseball and it can go either way. Everything is on the line now.”

Powell is scheduled to take on the ‘AA’ Sheridan Troopers (27-22 overall) at 5 and 7 p.m. at home next Monday to wrap up the regular season before postseason play.