The Lovell Mustangs American Legion baseball squad played some of their best baseball of the season Tuesday as they swept the Sheridan Jets at home in Cowley, 11-1 and 8-7.
The wins give the Mustangs momentum heading into a pair of Northwest Conference doubleheaders this weekend at home. The Mustangs will host Cody at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Friday, then host Riverton Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m.
Dillon Pickett threw a six-inning gem for the Mustangs in game one Tuesday, allowing only one run to the Jets, the junior varsity squad of the Sheridan Troopers.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs gradually built a lead, scoring two runs in the second inning, one in the third and two in the fourth to lead 5-1. Tony Rodriguez singled home the run in the third, and both Caleb Horrocks and Dillon Pickett scored in the fourth.
Lovell scored six runs with two out in the sixth inning to win the game on the 10-run rule. McKayan May doubled home Kyle Peterson to get things rolling for the Mustangs, and after a single by Jacob Adey, Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Walks to Brandon Dickson and Caleb Horrocks scored two runs, Dickson scored on a passed ball and Collin McArthur singled to score Horrocks to make the final score 11-1.
In game two, Sheridan built a 7-1 lead off Lovell starter Steven Pickett over the first 2½ innings, but Pickett settled down the throw four scoreless innings after that.
Lovell got back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the third, two of the runs coming in on a triple by May.
The Mustangs trailed 7-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but consecutive one-out singles by Steven Pickett and Kyle Peterson got things going. May singled home Pickett, and after a walk to Adey, Rodriguez doubled home Peterson and May with the tying and winning runs.
“They showed a lot of maturity,” manager Ray Peterson said. “They didn’t give up and stuck with it. They didn’t roll over and kept battling.”
A shorthanded Mustangs team battled but dropped four games at the Billings Halos tournament in Billings last week.
On Thursday, the Mustangs lost to the Billings Angels 9-1, playing much of the game with only eight players after starting pitcher Dillon Pickett suffered heat stroke symptoms and had to leave the game. Pickett missed the rest of the tournament, and Lovell had to play with two outfielders in Thursday’s games.
They nearly beat Cody in game two Thursday, falling 10-9, playing again with eight players.
After recruiting Collin McArthur to the squad, the Mustangs fell to the Billings Halos 11-4 and to Livingston, Mont., 13-4, on Friday.
The Mustangs are looking forward to four home games this weekend, all conference games, with action starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Peterson said the concessions stand will be up and running for both doubleheaders, offering hot dogs and hamburgers.
Lovell is currently fourth in the Class A Northwest standings behind Powell at 8-0, Cody at 5-3 and Riverton at 2-6, but the Mustangs could work their way into third place by beating Riverton.
The North District Tournament begins next Thursday, July 26, in Powell with the four Northwest squads meeting the four Northeast teams: Sheridan (6-0), Casper Drillers (3-2), Douglas (1-4) and Gillette Rustlers (0-4).
By David Peck