The Evanston Legion AA baseball team had its most productive offensive tournament of the season over the weekend, posting a 3-1 record at the 2nd Annual Post 24 Coronavirus Tournament in Rock Springs.
The three-team tournament featured the Outlaws squaring off against I-80 rivals Green River and Rock Springs, with each team guaranteed four games. Evanston gained a measure of revenge against Green River, sweeping the Knights 13-1 and 9-8; the Outlaws pounded Rock Springs 14-2 Saturday, but lost Sunday’s rematch in a wild one, 19-18. Evanston finished with double-digit hits in three of the four games.
“I thought we had a really nice weekend, especially at the plate,” said Outlaws manager Jason Mitchell. “Batting was our focus all week long — we took a ton of time at batting practice, and the kids responded nicely.”
The Outlaws (15-11) have a few days to recover before opening conference play Sunday, hosting a doubleheader against Casper at Ross Kesterson Field.
“We’ll have our first conference games this weekend at home, so that should be exciting,” Mitchell said. “We were supposed to play Casper on Saturday, but with the Shrine Bowl going on that day, Casper decided to play Rock Springs Saturday, and us on Sunday.”
Green River 1
The Outlaws opened play Saturday against Green River, a team that’s had Evanston’s number in two previous games this season.
But back to full strength after last weekend’s graduation festivities, Evanston scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back, cruising to a 13-1 win.
“It was nice to see the kids respond,” coach Mitchell said. “I think we overlooked Green River a little bit — the kids were thinking, ‘Eh, it’s a Single A team.’ I think those two losses were a wake-up call. Green River is legit, they have some really nice athletes on that team.”
Evanston had eight hits in the contest, led by Jagger Mitchell, who went 2-for-3, with a home run and 2 RBIs. Bodie Wicks (2-for-4, RBI) and Derek MacDonald (2-for-2, 2 RBIs) also had multiple hits; Clayton Moyles and Gus Allred rounded out the hitting with a hit and an RBI apiece.
The Outlaws were opportunistic on the base paths, with Moyles swiping three bases, and Hank Allred one.
Caysen Smith — one of two players from Kemmerer on the roster — picked up the win on the mound in relief for the Outlaws, giving up one run on three hits, and striking out one in two innings of work. Gus Allred got the start, and was solid through three innings, giving up no runs on three hits, and striking out seven.
“Gus had a good game, but he only went about 50 pitches,” coach Mitchell explained. “His arm is kind of concerning us a little bit — he’s only able to throw for about three innings right now, before he starts getting some arm fatigue. It’s something we’re going to keep an eye on, because we’ll need him to throw some seven-inning games for us, especially with conference starting.”
Rock Springs 2
The Outlaws’ bats stayed hot in game two Saturday, as the boys from Post 41 pounded out 13 hits — including another home run off the bat of Jagger Mitchell, his second of the day — in a 14-2 rout of host Rock Springs.
“The kids came out and established themselves right away in this one,” coach Mitchell said. “They continued to bat with confidence. They didn’t let up at all, which is something we as coaches like to see. Their communication was outstanding.”
The Outlaws had four players with multi-hit games, led by Mitchell’s 2-for-4, 5-RBI performance. Gus Allred (2-for-2, double, 3 RBIs), Clayton Moyles (2-for-5, RBI) and Ashton Eldredge (2-for-2, double, RBI) also had a pair of hits, while Hank Allred (1-for-2), Jayden Schneider (1-for-1), Bodie Wicks (1-for-4, RBI), Caleb Gooding (1-for-1, 2 RBIs) and Ryan Baldwin (1-for-2) collected a hit each.
“Our team batting overall was outstanding,” coach Mitchell said. “We were able to string hits together — we’ve been sporadic in the past, but it was working for us in this game, all through the lineup. That makes all the difference.”
Eldredge pitched a complete-game gem to earn the win, giving up two runs on eight hits, and striking out four.
Green River 8
Sunday’s games weren’t as lopsided as the day before, starting with the Outlaws outlasting Green River in extra innings, 9-8, behind the Kemmerer connection of Clayton Moyles and Caysen Smith on the mound.
“That was just a really good, competitive ball game,” coach Mitchell said. “Both teams played very, very well. Green River pitched their top guy at us, and we pitched the Kemmerer kids. It was just a fun game to be a part of.”
Down 4-0 after the first inning, Evanston battled back, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the second and six more in the bottom of the third to take an 8-4 lead.
Green River answered with four runs in the top of the fifth to tie it at 8-8, setting the stage for some extra-inning heroics by Gus Allred. With the game nearing its two-hour time limit, the sixth inning was played under California tie-breaker rules. Hank Allred was put at second with one out, giving older brother Gus an opportunity for a walk-off. The older Allred doubled on the first pitch, scoring Hank and giving Evanston the 9-8 win.
“The end of the game was pretty exciting,” coach Mitchell said. “We had Hank on second base to start extra innings, and Gus was able to walk it off right away.”
The Outlaws continued their assault on opposing pitching, pounding out 11 hits in the contest. Gus Allred led the charge, going 4-for-4, and knocking in the winning run with an RBI double. Jayden Schneider also had a multi-hit game, collecting two hits; Hank Allred (1-for-4), Jagger Mitchell (1-for-2, 2 RBIs), Derek MacDonald (1-2, double), Bodie Wicks (1-for-3,1 RBI) and Ashton Eldredge (1-for-3) each had a hit. Caysen Smith also finished with an RBI.
Kemmerer’s Smith got the start on the mound for the Outlaws, giving up four runs on six hits, and striking out two in three-and-a-third innings of work. Clayton Moyles picked up the win in relief, giving up four runs on two hits, and striking out five.
Rock Springs 19,
It’s always interesting when the Outlaws and Rock Springs get together, and Sunday’s tournament finale was definitely no exception. Evanston jumped out to an early lead, with eight runs in the top of the first. Things fell apart for the Outlaws in the bottom of the third, however, as the Stallions — down 8-3 — plated 10 runs to take a 13-8 lead.
Evanston answered with five runs in the top of the fourth to bring the game back to even at 13-13. Rock Springs retook the lead 15-13 in the bottom of the fourth, only to see it slip away again, as the Outlaws plated five more runs in the top of the sixth, 18-15.
The Stallions emptied their bag of tricks, scoring four more runs to earn a tournament split with a 19-18 win.
“That was a frustrating game,” coach Mitchell said. “We outhit them by a ton, and we had fewer errors, by a landslide. We jumped on them early, but we couldn’t close the book on them.”
The Outlaws pounded out 16 hits in a losing effort, with four players finishing with multi-hit games. Bodie Wicks had his best game of the season at the plate, going 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs including a two-run home run in the top of the first that sparked an eight-run inning.
Gus Allred smacked a pair of doubles and drove in a run, while Jagger Mitchell went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs. Jayden Schneider had his second multi-hit game of the day, going 2-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs.
Ashton Eldredge had just one at bat, but he made it count — with two on and one out in the bottom of the fifth, he blasted a three-run home run over the center field fence that gave the Outlaws back the lead. Ryan Baldwin, Hank Allred, Quinton Elmer and Clayton Moyles had a hit apiece, with Elmer driving in two ruins, and Baldwin and Moyles driving in one.
Derek MacDonald was saddled with the loss in relief, giving up 12 runs on seven hits (10 earned), and striking out three. Mitchell got the start, giving up seven runs on four hits (five earned) in two innings of work.