Former Outlaws making mark in NUL

Evanston native Jagger Mitchell fires a pitch to former Outlaws teammate Clayton Moyles during the Logan Royals’ 20-2 rout over the Providence Wolverines, in Providence, Utah. Three former Outlaws — Mitchell, Moyles and Gus Allred — are playing in the Northern Utah League this summer. (HERALD PHOTO/Don Cogger)

Having just completed their first season playing ball at the collegiate level, three former Evanston Outlaws — Jagger Mitchell, Gus Allred and Clayton Moyles — are showcasing their talents this summer in the Northern Utah League, a collegiate summer league that competes in Utah and southern Idaho.

While the three Post 41 standouts are roommates for the summer, only two are actually teammates: Allred and Mitchell play for the Logan Royals, while Moyles is the outlier, currently playing right field and pitching for the Providence Wolverines.

All three were looking for playing opportunities for the summer — Allred and Moyles had aged out of playing for the Outlaws, while Mitchell — who still had a season of Legion eligibility left — was looking for a different challenge.

“I ended up playing for the Royals after finding them while looking for a nearby summer program,” Allred explained. “I found them and decided to research the program and get a hold of Coach Anthony, and I eventually came to the conclusion that it would be a great opportunity and experience for me.”

Allred reached out to Mitchell about the Royals, and the rest, as they say, is history. The pair found a place to rent, as well as summer jobs, eventually adding Moyles to the mix.

“Rooming with the guys has been a blast — here and there, we come across problems, but other than that it’s smooth sailing,” Mitchell said. “And playing for the Royals has been a blast. Meeting tons of new great guys that live the game as well, along with getting a summer full of baseball. It’s truly all you can dream of for a summer opportunity.”

Moyles was originally slated to play summer ball in California, before Allred and Mitchell convinced him to come to Logan. While he was unable to find a spot on the Royals, he found a home with the Wolverines, and the former teammates play each other often.

“I called some of the coaches here and found a team to play on,” he explained. “Being roommates with both Jag and Gus has been a great time. There is never a dull moment around the house, always cracking jokes, getting each other to laugh. And playing for the Wolverines has been great — we’re a pretty young team with a lot of potential.”

Allred agreed with his roommate.

“I’ve really enjoyed the company of Jag and Clayton,” he said. “They’re always a lively couple of guys, and there’s never a dull moment here. It means a ton to me to be able to continue playing with and being around these two, who I’ve spent my childhood being close friends and playing ball with.”

A year of college ball in the books

The three former Outlaws now have a year of collegiate ball under their belts — Allred at University of Jamestown in North Dakota, Mitchell at Arizona Christian University and Moyles at Colorado Northwestern Community College. While each had varying degrees of success in their first year, all of them agreed that the experience was a positive one.

“My first year in college was one I most definitely needed as an athlete,” Mitchell said. “There were lots of ups and downs, but the greatest thing I took from it was just learning how the game is played at a high level. The thing I enjoyed most about my opportunity to play college ball had to either be the great lifelong friends along the way, or the grind – once you’re out of high school, the grind actually starts at the college level.”

Moyles agreed.

“My first year of college baseball was a great learning experience,” he said. “It helped better my athleticism and grow as a person. What I enjoyed most about my experience playing in Colorado was the diversity of my team. We had kids from Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.”

Asked about his plans for next season, Moyles said he’s looking forward to returning to Colorado.

“I’m definitely not excited to learn, but I’m excited to play college ball again,” he said. “My expectations are high this year — hoping to win a lot of games and be sitting first or second in our conference.”

Mitchell will be joining Moyles as a Spartan at CNCC next season, a move he hopes will attract the attention of larger schools.

“This next year I will be attending Northwestern Colorado, and I’ve never been more excited for an opportunity before,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to jump into the NCAA loop, and finally found a way to break through. I’m looking to improve both academically and athletically. Baseball-wise, I’d like to get the attention of the surrounding D1 and D2 programs, to snag a spot at a good four-year for my future. Other than that, just play like I know how.”

As for Allred, the lefty is hoping to continue on his quest to play pro ball.

“I’m super-excited to see what the future has in store for me next year,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how this next season goes, and I’m really focused on the development side of things. I’m expecting to get a lot of work in, and continue to grow as a ballplayer and keep the Major League dream alive. I’m always pumped to continue the grind.”

Paying dues in the NUL

The Royals are currently 8-10 on the season; the Wolverines are 8-15. The two teams squared off last Monday night at Zollinger Park in Providence, with the Royals taking advantage of a 13-run first inning to win in a rout, 20-2.

“We were seeing everything coming in like a beach ball,” Mitchell said, laughing. “Usually, their pitchers are crafty, and find ways to get around our hitters. That night, we were just on fire.”

For the Royals, Mitchell went 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Allred was 1-for-1, with a double and three runs scored (he was also hit by a pitch twice). Mitchell started the game at shortstop, then pitched two innings in relief, allowing one earned run on one hit, and striking out four.

Moyles was 0-2 for the Wolverines against the Royals, though he went 1-for-2 the following night against the Smithfield Blue Sox. In his next outing against the Royals on Wednesday, the Kemmerer native started the game on the mound in an 8-3 loss, giving up six runs on five hits and striking out three.

“The highlight of playing for Providence is getting to play against my former teammates Jagger and Gus,” Mouyles said. “The competitiveness between the three of us is through the roof.”

That said, the three are also each other’s biggest fans, as evidenced by a video of a recent Mitchell home run, with Moyles recording the bomb and cheering on his buddy.

“Playing for the Royals this year has been an absolute blast,” Allred said. “I’ve loved having the environment of the team, and being able to just let loose and play ball. The highlight probably has to be our dugout banter. It’s always light and fun in there, and I’ve found myself super-comfortable around the guys.”

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