Make it three in a row.
The Lovell Mustangs edged the Powell Pioneers 2-1 Saturday evening at the Senior League Baseball Park in Cowley for their third consecutive win over their rivals from Park County.
Manager Michael Jameson said the game was added to the schedule mid-week to get each team an extra game. It was not counted as a conference game.
“They (Powell) had to cancel seven games last week because of a lack of kids and a miscommunication about a tournament in Lewistown,” Jameson said, noting that his team needed the extra game, as well, after driving all the way to Riverton Monday, only to be rained out.
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Justin Bacus singled to center, stole second and scored on Wyatt Horrocks’ two-out double to left.
Powell tied the score in the top of the sixth when Teagan Cordes tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kaden Moore. Powell had runners at the corners with only one out, but Lovell second baseman Gehrig Sweat snared a line drive and stepped on second base for a double play to end the inning.
The game was a nail-biter all the way, and the Mustangs won it in the bottom of the ninth when Bacus singled, advanced to third on two pickoff throwing errors and scored on a single by Horrocks.
Riley Hill picked up the win on the mound for Lovell in relief of starter Trey Dickerson, who kept the Powell bat at bay for 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on eight hits and four walks. He struck out four and received excellent defensive support, Jameson said.
“We had no errors, and with Trey pitching that’s the key to success, making plays behind him,” he said. “He’s not going to get a lot of swings and misses, so he has to have the guys behind him. He throws strikes and gives you a chance to win. He makes teams hit the ball and they typically don’t hit him hard.”
Hill pitched the final 2 2/3s and allowed no runs on one hit with one walk and one strikeout.
“He gave us a change of pace,” Jameson said of the harder-throwing Hill. “Trey and Riley have contrasting styles, so that was our thought process.”
Horrocks had his best hitting game of the season, Jameson said, going 2-4 with two RBIs, while Bacus went 2-3 with two runs.
The Mustangs hosted the Cody B team Tuesday night and split the doubleheader, winning game one 7-6 but dropping the nightcap 14-0.
Cody scored one in the top of the first to lead the first game 1-0, but Lovell plated four in the bottom of the frame and added two more in the second to lead 6-1. Cody scored one in the fourth and three in the fifth to pull close at 6-5. Lovell picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, and though Cody added a run in the top of the sixth, Mustang hurler Riley Hill worked out of the inning and blanked the Cubs in the seventh to preserve the win.
Jeremy Schneider started the game for the Mustangs and threw one inning, allowing one unearned run. Hill threw the remaining six innings to pick up the win, allowing five runs on eight hits. He fanned four and didn’t walk a batter.
Game two was all Cody as the Cubs won 14-0.
Now 10-12, the Mustangs will play three conference doubleheaders next week, hosting Cody Tuesday at 5 and 7 p.m., traveling to Riverton for the rainout makeup game Wednesday at 4 and 6 p.m. and meeting Riverton in Greybull Friday at 5 and 7.
The conference schedule wraps up Tuesday, July 5, when the Mustangs host Powell at 5 and 7 p.m. The Mustangs will travel to the Billings Halos tournament July 7-10.
By David Peck