The Evanston Legion AA baseball team opened conference play on the road Thursday, sweeping a doubleheader from the Class AA defending state champs Casper Oilers.
Outlaws lefty Clayton Moyles pitched a gem in the opening game, throwing a no-hitter en route to an 11-1 win. Evanston kept their bats going in the second game, pounding out 10 hits in a 10-3 rout.
The wins put the Outlaws (14-11) in the driver’s seat in the AA West division with a 2-0 conference record.
“We had a really good trip,” said Outlaws manager Chad Thompson. “Clayton [Moyles] threw fantastic in game one, and we did enough at the plate in the second game to get the job done. We did what we wanted to do, which was win both games — we were able to start off 2-0 in conference play, and if we’re able to take care of business the rest of the way, we should be in good shape to hopefully win our conference.”
The Outlaws are on the road at Jackson for the 4th of July weekend, with their first game of a non-conference tournament scheduled for Thursday morning.
“If we can get the weather to cooperate this week and get a couple of practices in, we’ll work on a few things and hopefully roll into Jackson and keep our little streak going,” Thompson said.
Casper Oilers 1
After putting up a donut on the scoreboard in the first inning of a day/night doubleheader, the Outlaws settled into a groove at the plate, scoring multiple runs in each of the remaining innings.
But the story of this game was Clayton Moyles on the mound — the lefthander from Kemmerer was dialed in, throwing a complete-game no-hitter in a dominating 11-1 rout of the Oilers, the defending state AA champions.
After a scoreless first inning, the Outlaws got their bats working in the top of the second. Brenden Thompson scored the first run of the game on a Conner Peterson grounder booted by Casper’s shortstop; Reid Gross doubled to score Peterson, and Evanston led 2-0.
Casper halved the Outlaws’ lead in the bottom of the second, scoring their only run on a wild pitch. Evanston answered with four runs in the top of the third, highlighted by RBI singles by Peterson and Kendell Cummings.
The Outlaws plated three runs in the top of the fourth and two in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach at 11-1; the game was called due to the 10-run rule after Casper was held scoreless in the bottom of the fifth.
Moyles pitched all five innings, giving up an unearned run on no hits, while striking out seven. The lefty did walk nine Oilers in the contest, a stat Thompson said he’d like to see Moyles work on.
“He [Moyles] did give up nine walks, which unfortunately is where Casper’s run came from,” Thompson said. “If we knock those walks down, he has a no-hitter and a shutout, as well.”
Cummings went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs for the Outlaws, who finished with nine hits. Moyles helped his own cause at the plate with a hit and two RBIs; Gross, Gus Allred, Jagger Mitchell, Ryan Fisher, Brenden Thompson and Peterson each had a hit, with Peterson collecting two RBIs and Gross smacking an RBI double.
Casper Oilers 3
Game two of the doubleheader saw the Outlaws again overcome a slow start at the plate to pound out 10 hits in a 10-3 win.
The Oilers held a 1-0 lead going into the top of the second, when the Outlaws’ Casey Periman scored on a wild pitch to bring the game back to even. Evanston took the lead in the top of the third on an RBI single by Periman that scored Jagger Mitchell.
After a scoreless fourth inning by both teams, the Outlaws exploded with five runs in the top of the fifth — behind a two-run double by Brenden Thompson and an RBI single by Clayton Moyles — to put the game out of reach at 7-1.
Evanston scored once more in the top of the sixth and twice in the top of the seventh to cruise to the 10-3 win.
Gus Allred was lights-out on the mound for the Outlaws, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out seven in six innings of work.
“Gus threw really well — he started off a little slow, but he dialed in,” coach Thompson said.
Ryan Fisher pitched an inning in relief, allowing two runs on three hits.
Evanston had three players with multi-hit games, with Allred, Periman and Moyles collecting two hits apiece. Thompson led the team in RBIs with three, while Mitchell, Fisher and Peterson each had a hit in the contest.
“It took us another two or three innings to get our bats rolling, but once we did, we started scoring runs,” coach Thompson said. “Conner Peterson played really well in that game — he had a diving catch that saved some runs, and he threw a kid out at the plate from centerfield.”