Outlaws sweep Mother’s Day twin bill from Knights
Bauer, Hoover, Oliver go deep; record now 5-3 on season
GREEN RIVER — The Evanston Legion A baseball team had its bats going early and often Sunday at Green River, sweeping a Mother’s Day doubleheader at Stratton Myers Park.
The Outlaws pounded out a combined 28 hits — including three home runs and a double — winning the opener 8-5 in extra innings, and game two in a rout, 17-0; Evanston is now 5-3 on the young season.
“The boys are playing good baseball,” said Outlaws manager Nick Small. “We’re starting to see some good contact at the plate, and the pitching is coming along — we’re limiting our walks, which really helps the run differential for us.”
The Outlaws are back on the road this weekend for the 3rd Annual Southwest Series in Rock Springs, beginning Saturday with games against Rock Springs and Laramie. The Boys of Post 41 will close out the weekend Sunday with games against Rock Springs and Green River.
“We’re headed over to Rock Springs this weekend for the Southwest Series,” Small said. “We’ll play Rock Springs, Laramie and Green River. It will be good to see Laramie; they have some good arms over there, and a pretty good offense. And Rock Springs and Green River, it’s always good to get lots of games early in the year with them.”
Outlaws 8, Green River 5
Game one of Sunday’s doubleheader saw the Outlaws break a 5-5 tie with three runs in the top of the eighth, en route to an 8-5 win.
Evanston had 12 hits in the contest, led by multi-hit games from Braxton Bauer, Walker Wilson and Gavin Oliver. Walker Wilson also had a solid outing on the mound, picking up his first win of the season.
“It was good to see the kids have a little bit of grit in the first game,” Small said. “It would have been nice to come out and win the ball game in the bottom of the seventh, but to give up a couple of runs to send it into extra innings and then not lay down that next inning, come out and put up a few more runs in the eighth, it was good to see that kind of resiliency.”
After a scoreless first inning, the Outlaws got things going in the top of the second, plating four runs behind RBI singles from Walker Wilson and Oliver. Green River cut the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second, but Evanston got the run back in the top of the third, when Braxton Bauer hit a solo shot over the center field fence to make it 5-1.
The Knights scored two more runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-3, and after three scoreless innings, Green River tied the game at 5-5 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, with two on and one out, Walker Wilson singled in a pair of runs, then scored on an error during the next at-bat to make it 8-5. Brecken Rich pitched the bottom of the eighth in relief and retired the side to preserve the win for the Outlaws.
“We’ve been shaking up the lineup a bit, trying to figure out where kids need to hit to get the most run production,” Small said. “It’s good to see consistent barrels getting put on the ball.”
Bauer led the team at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and an RBI. Walker Wilson and Oliver collected two hits apiece, with Wilson driving in four runs on the day; Ryder Wilson, Jacson Osborne, Ryan Hoover, Rich and Damian Kaman had a hit each.
On the mound, Walker Wilson gave up three runs on six hits through 5 innings, striking out six; Bauer pitched a scoreless inning in relief, and Rich was credited with the save, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out two.
“Walker pitched a pretty good game for us — he gave us a solid four innings,” Small said. “We’re still running a pitch count, and obviously the kids are never gonna tell you they’re tired. But we’re starting to stretch them into the 70s and 80s. We can go to 105, but it’s still early in the year, and we haven’t been throwing a whole lot, so we’re still running a pretty tight count.”
Outlaws 17, Green River 0
Game two of Sunday’s doubleheader was all Outlaws, as the Boys of Post 41 pounded out 16 hits in a 17-0 rout running their current win streak to four games.
Gavin Oliver pitched a beauty for the Outlaws, giving up just two hits in a complete-game shutout, striking out six; he also helped his own cause at the plate, hitting a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning to put the game out of reach for good.
“Gavin struggled a bit his last couple of outings, so it was good to see him getting the ball down, putting it where he wanted it,” Small said. “He really pitched well for us.”
The Outlaws got things rolling early, plating a pair of runs in the top of the first, courtesy of a two-run single off the bat of Braxton Bauer. Evanston then had back-to-back six-run innings in the third and fourth, then added three runs in the top of the fifth for good measure. The game was called after five innings, due to the 10-run rule at 17-0.
Four Outlaws finished with multi-hit games, led by Ryder Wilson’s 3-for-3, 3 RBI performance. Bauer and Ryan Hoover also collected three hits apiece, with Bauer driving in three runs, and Hoover driving in two, including a solo shot to lead off the third inning.
“Green River is kind of a short porch for us,” Small said. “But it’s good to see the ball go out of the park, regardless of where we’re playing.”
Walker Wilson went 1-for-2 with 3 RBI batting out of the No. 2 spot; Small said moving the Wilson brothers to the top of the lineup and Oliver down to the No. 3 spot is beginning to pay dividends.
“Ryder and Walker at the top of the lineup have been getting on base, so I moved Gavin off the leadoff spot,” Small said. “He’s been swinging a really good bat, so we figured we’d drop him down, get some guys on base in front of him — instead of wasting his leadoff double, use his double for some runs.”
Jacson Osborne, Brecken Rich, Rhett Anderson and Damian Kaman had a hit each, with Osborne hitting an RBI double.
Ryder Wilson swiped a pair of bases in the contest, and the Outlaws were defensively sound, committing no errors. Despite that last stat, Small said there’s always room for improvement in that respect.
“Defensively, we’re still dealing with some fielding issues, and we need to be able to finish games when we have the lead in the seventh inning,” Small said. “We go into the last inning with a two-run lead, we need to be able to finish. I’d like to see a little tighter defense. But things are coming together.”