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July 21, 2011

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101The Lovell Chronicle I July 21, 2011 www.LovellChronicle.com Mustangs sweep Sheridan Jets to gain momentum BY DAVID PECK It was a great way to finish the regular sea- son. The Lovell Mustangs American Legion baseball team wrapped up the reg- ular season Monday after- noon with a doubleheader sweep over the Sheridan Jets, 9-8 and 10-8. The wins were sorely needed for a team that had crammed six games into the previous five days, all of them losses. In the first game Mon- day, manager Ray Peter- son told his young team that they should be able to compete well against the Jets, the junior varsi- ty squad of the Class AA Sheridan Troopers, be- cause they would be facing players their own age -- 16- and 17-year-olds. Indeed, the Mustangs played with confidence as they scored a lot of runs and made key plays on defense. With the team having a lot of tired arms, the Mus- tangs turned to Dino Col- lins, normally the starting catcher, on the mound, and Collins did a good job, al- lowing four runs in five in- nings. 15-year-old Brandon Dickson pitched the final two innings. Lovell took an early lead with two runs in the first and two more in the second to lead 4-1. Dillon Pickett hit an RBI double in the first inning, and Col- lins singled home a run in the second, followed by a double by Pickett. Sheridan plated one run in the third and two in the fourth to tie the score 4-4, but Lovell respond- ed with two in the bottom of the fourth to lead 6-4. Collins singled home Jake Adey with one of the runs. Staying hot on a hot afternoon, the Mustangs scored three more runs in the fifth to lead 9-4. Back- to-back triples by Kyle Pe- terson and Adey, followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dillon Pickett plated two runs, and Steven Pickett singled home Collins, who had been hit by a pitch. The Mustangs relieved Collins with young Dickson in the top of the sixth, and the Jets scored four runs, but in a pressure-packed seventh, Dickson retired the side in order to pre- serve the victory and re- cord the save. "We've played a lot of baseball over the last two weeks," Peterson noted. "Our defense is getting more sure, our pitching arms are getting stron- ger and our hitting is im- proved. Our batting eyes are better." In game two, Sheridan built a 7-1 lead after 2 in- nings that the Mustangs cut to 7-4 with three in the third as Collins, Dillon Pickett and McKayan May crossed the plate. Sheridan went up 8-4 in the top of the forth, but Dillon Pick- ett relieved starter Hunter Hinckl.ey and blanked the Jets over the last three in- nings. Lovell rallied for two in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth. May had a two-run double in the fifth. EARLIER GAMES The Mustangs com- peted in the Billings Ha- los Fellowship of Christian Athletes State Invitational Wednesday through Fri- day. In game one Wednes- day afternoon, the Mus- tangs fell to the Billings Cardinals 14-3. The game was close early as Hinck- ley shut out the Cards over the first two innings. But as the Billings squad start- ed seeing Hinckley for the second time they began to hit him and scored eight runs in the third, three in the fourth and three in the fifth. - The, Mustangs didn't score until the fourth, when they plated two runs, then added a run in the fifth when Dillon Pickett reached on an error and scored on a single by Hinckley. Hinckley went the dis- tance on the mound. "We got off to a slow start. I don't know how to get this team jazzed up, but it might be because it's a young team," Peterson said. "They were hitting the gaps and we weren't." Playing back-to-back games, the Mustangs then met the Halos and played well against the strong team thanks to strong pitching by starter Steven Pickett, fall- ing 3-0. "Steven pitched a good game," Peterson said. "He has good speed and a good breaking ball, and he hits the corners." Lovell got on base against the Halos, banging out seven hits, but the Mus- tangs stranded nine run- ners. Pickett blanked the Halos in five of six innings, allowing only a three-run fourth. The Mustangs played a conference game against Cody Thursday afternoon as part of the FCA tourna- ment, falling 8-3 in a make- up game from a June 7 rain- out. Peterson said it was a "tough one to lose" as the Mustangs were competitive but couldn't get over the top. Hurler Dylan Hultgren was tough on the mound for the Mustangs, allow- ing only three runs in the first four innings, then five in the fifth before blanking the Cubs in the sixth. But the Mustang bats were cold until the seventh inning, when they scored three runs on consecutive hits by May, Nathan Ballard, Ste- ven Pickett (RBI double), Adey, Hultgren and Kyle Peterson. Rain shortened the tour- nament, and the Mustangs played a final game on Fri- day, falling to Livingston 9-3. Starting pitcher Bal- lard shut out the Montana team in the first and third, but allowed four in the sec- ond, one each in the fourth and fifth and two in the DAVID PECK Dylan Hultgren of the Lovell Mustangs focuses in on an incoming pitch during Lovell's 9-8 win over the Sheridan Jets Monday afternoon in Cowley. sixth before Dillon Pickett came on in relief. Again, the Mustang bats were silent for six out of seven innings. They scored all three runs in the sixth on hits by Ballard (double), Hultgren (double following a walk to Steven Pickett) and Peterson. The bone tired Mus- tangs had to travel to Pow- ell Sunday evening for a pair of make-up conference games. Only nine players could make the trip, and Powell swept the Mustangs 11-1 and 19-0. Steven Pick- ett was solid on the mound in the first game, blank- ing the Pioneers in the first and second innings, but the good-hitting home team hit Pickett when they saw him again, ripping a pair of two- run homers in the third and adding three runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth. Lovell scored its lone run in the fifth when Cody King doubled and scored. Game two was all Pow- ell as the Pioneers got to Hultgren for four runs in the first inning, 12 in the second and three in the third before the game was mercifully called. Kyle Pe- terson had the only hit for the Mustangs. TOURNAMENT TIME Now 8-25, the Mustangs are the fourth seed from the Northwest heading into the North District American Legion Tournament in Gil- lette Thursday. The Mustangs must take on top Northeast seed Gillette Thursday at 7 p.m. and would then meet either Cody or Casper Friday at 1 p.m. (with a Thursday loss) or 7 p.m. (with a Thursday win). "The kids have stuck with it, and they're im- proved," Peterson said. "Ev- ery player will be back next year." The Senior League baseball teams will spon- sor the Cowley Pioneer Day barbecue luri6h in the park Saturday atnoon. Peterson said he would appreciate it if parents of Babe Ruth and American Legion players would help serve the meal on Saturday. Babe Ruth All-Stars win one of three at district BY DAVID PECK The North Big Horn Babe Ruth All-Stars made the short trip to Cody for the 13-15-year-old District IV Tournament Friday and Saturday, winning one of three games. Manager Ray Peterson said the all-stars played well at times, though they tended to get off to slow starts and then battle back. In the first game Fri- day, host Cody stopped the local stars 13-3. Starting pitcher CJ Murphey did a credible job on the mound for North Big Horn, but he received little offen- sive support as NBH didn't score in the first four in- nings. "We just started slow in that game," manager Ray Peterson said. "We had the four innings with- out any runs, and we had a lot of strikeouts." Meanwhile, Cody plat- ed two runs in the first and two more in the third to lead 4-0, then exploded for five runs in the fourth as Murphey gave way to Bill Despain. North Big Horn scored its only three runs of the game in the top of the fifth, but Cody matched that to- tal in the bottom of the frame to lead 12-3. Cody won the game on the 10- run rule when the Park County squad scored a sin- gle run in the bottom of the sixth. NAILBITER North Big Horn came from behind in the next game to edge Greybul114-13 ED MATYHEWS, CODY ENTERPRISE Caleb Horrocks, left, celebrates with teammates Alex Connour (center) and Bill Despain (top) after Horrocks scored the final run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Connour to push Lovell past Greybull in the loser-out bracket Friday. and stay alive in the tourna- ment. North Big Horn took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Despain singled home a pair of runs and a third crossed the plate off the bat of Alex Connour. Greybull, however, got to North Big Horn starter Con- nour for four runs in the top of the second and four more in the third to lead 8-3 be- fore NBH mounted its come- back, though Greybull kept scoring- one run in each the fourth, f-h and sixth and two in the seventh. "Greybull came to play," Peterson said. "They scored in every inning except the first. But our kids fought back, didn't give up and had good fifth and sixth in- nings." North Big Horn scored three runs in the bottom of the third to trail 8-6 as De- spain, Connour and Demi- trie Montuy drove in runs, but Greybull built the lead to 10-6 before NBH respond- ed with four in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score. Aaron Monterde had an RBI double during the uprising. Greybull went up 11-10 in the top of the sixth, but North Big Horn plated three in the bottom of the frame to lead 13-11. The never-say- die Greybull nine scored two in the top of the seventh to knot the score 13-13, but North Big "Horn won the game in walk-off style in the bottom of the seventh. Caleb Horrocks led off the inning with a walk, then stole his way to third. With one out Connour lofted a fly ball to center field. Horrocks tagged up and came in with the winning run. Asked about his team's offensive turnaround, Peter- son noted, "The kids started catching on that they could steal on their catcher and they started becoming more aggressive on the bases." Horrocks not onl: scored the winning run, he was the winning pitcher, throwing in relief of Connour. FINAL GAME North Big Horn met Powell in a loser-out game Saturday morning and fell 22-7. Powell scored four runs in the first off Lovell starter Mysen McArthur, then exploded for 11 in the second to lead 15-0. "Mysen did a good job, but we must have had a dozen errors," Peterson said, "bobbled balls, not making plays. Everybody started getting down on themselves." Murphey relieved McArthur and slowed Pow- ell to seven runs over the fi- nal three innings. North Big Horn scored two runs in the second, four in the third and one in the fifth. Despain had a two- run single in the third. COURTESY PHOTO Eli Moody, left, and Dimas Patina competed in freestyle and folkstyle wrestling at the Big Sky Games Saturday in Billings. Moody, Patina excel at Big Sky E-,a0000es A pair of Lovell High School athletes competed in the Big Sky Games over the weekend in Billings. Eli Moody and Dimas Patina, both of whom will be seniors at Lovell High School this fall, competed in both freestyle and folkstyle wrestling at the Games. Opening ceremonies were held Friday at Wendy's Field, with both boys receiving Big Sky Games T-shirts. The wrestling competition was held at West High School on Saturday, with freestyle wrestling in the morning and folkstyle in the afternoon. Each wrestler had to move into a higher weight brack- et in order to compete with Patina giving up more than 20 pounds and Moody giving up 38 pounds. Moody received a gold medal in freestyle wrestling and a silver in folkstyle. Patina went undefeated on the day and won g01d in both freestyle and folkstyle wres- tling. Both boys said they enjoyed the competition and were glad they participated. Moody missed the past wres- tling season and is still healing from the broken leg he suffered during the homecoming football game. He was worried about being rusty on the mat, but he came out strong, Matty Moody said. Patina wrestled well through- out the day, she said, adding that both had fun watching the younger kids wrestle and enjoyed the opportunity to coach each other. Both are looking forward to the upcoming football season, Matty said.