The Evanston Legion AA baseball team had its bats going early and often at Ross Kesterson Field Wednesday, sweeping a day/night doubleheader against visiting Rock Springs.
The Outlaws pounded out a combined 16 hits and scored 11 runs in each contest, winning the opener 11-3 and the nightcap 11-4; Evanston is now 8-11 on the season.
“It was a good night for us,” said Outlaws manager Nick Small. “The boys played really well. We scored a lot of runs, which we like to see — especially in that second game, the kid they had on the mound [Hudson Garner] shut us out last time we faced him, so it was a good confidence-builder, knowing that we can hit him.”
The Outlaws opened the week with a Memorial Day doubleheader at Green River, winning the first game 8-2, but dropping the second 4-1.
“Those were two great baseball games — I would love to have baseball games like that every day,” Small said. “Both games were competitive, with high-pressure situations throughout. The first game was closer than the score indicated — Green River had runners on almost every inning, the guys just played really well in the field. There was a lot of good, sound baseball being played in those games.”
The Outlaws are back on the road Saturday for a four-team round robin in Rock Springs, beginning Saturday with a doubleheader against Wheatland. The Boys of Post 41 will close out the weekend Sunday with games against Jackson and Rock Springs.
“We got 19 games in during the first month, which is awesome,” Small said. “I think we’re right where I had hoped we’d be with this group — winning a few, losing some and learning. I think we’re on the right track in terms of improvement, getting better every time. I’m excited to see where we’ll end up in the next couple of months.”
Rock Springs 3
Game one of Wednesday’s day/night doubleheader saw the Outlaws break a 2-2 tie with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, en route to an 11-3 win.
Evanston had nine hits in the contest, led by multi-hit games from Cohen Morrow and Ryder Wilson. Brecken Rich pitched a beauty to pick up his first win of the season on the bump.
“It starts with Brecken Rich in that game,” Small said. “He came out and threw very well. We had him on a pitch count so that he’s available this weekend, and he made it further in the game than expected, so that was really nice.”
The Outlaws scored a run in the first and a run in the second to take an early 2-0 lead; Rock Springs brought the game back to even with a pair of runs in the top of the third.
Evanston broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of Ryder Wilson. The Outlaws scored four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach, led by RBI singles from Morrow and Jacson Osborn and an RBI triple from Hank Allred.
“The guys are executing at the plate, as well as on the basepaths,” Small said. “And good, sound defense behind Brecken makes the pitcher’s life a lot easier.”
Morrow and Walker Wilson collected a pair of hits each to lead the Outlaws at the plate; Wilson drove in a pair of runs, while Morrow finished with a double and an RBI. Allred and Gavin Oliver each went 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs, with Allred smacking a triple and Oliver a double.
Braxton Bauer, Brodee Clifton and Osborn rounded out the hitting with one apiece, with Osborn knocking in a run.
On the mound, Rich gave up just two runs on five hits through 5.1 innings, striking out four; Damian Kamen pitched 1.2 innings in relief, giving up a run on one hit, striking out two.
Rock Springs 4
The nightcap of Wednesday’s day/night twin bill began as a pitcher’s duel, but quickly became another clinic at the plate — the Outlaws scored five runs in the third and five more in the fifth en route to an 11-4 win.
Osborn got the start on the mound for the Outlaws and pitched a gem, giving up two runs on six hits (just one earned) and striking out seven in 5.1 innings of work. Braxton Bauer pitched 1.2 innings in relief, allowing two runs on one hit, and striking out two.
“Again, it starts with your pitcher, and Jacson Osborn was on his game,” Small said. “He threw strikes, and the defense played well behind him. Anytime you do that, you’re going to be on the winning side of a lot of baseball games.”
The game was scoreless through 2.5 innings, before the Outlaws broke the stalemate with five runs in the bottom of the third, led by RBI singles from Gavin Oliver and Bauer; Cohen Morrow and Walker Wilson also knocked in runs in the inning.
“They threw one of their better pitchers [Hudson Garner] at us in that game, and we jumped on him in the third inning,” Small said. “It was 0-0 going into the third, but we were able to get some guys on base, put a little pressure on him. The ball bounced our way a couple of times, and it was good to see the kids get some runs on the board against that pitcher.”
The Outlaws doubled their score in the bottom of the fifth, plating five runs behind an RBI single from Hank Allred and a host of miscues in the field by Rock Springs. Evanston added one more run in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Braxton Bauer that scored Allred.
The Outlaws had seven hits in the contest, led by a 2-for-3, 1 RBI performance by Allred. Oliver, Walker Wilson, Bauer, Damian Kaman and Ryder Wilson each had a hit; Bauer knocked in three runs, while Oliver, Walker Wilson. Morrow, Ryan Baldwin, Jacson Osborn and Kaman had an RBI each.
Evanston was also greedy on the basepaths, with Oliver and Walker Wilson swiping two bases each; Allred also had a stolen base.
“The kids are executing on the basepaths, getting the right read,” Small said. “Getting those guys into scoring position has been key for us.”
Green River 2
The Outlaws opened the week with a doubleheader at Green River, with Evanston winning the opener 8-2, though the game was closer than the score might indicate.
The Outlaws scored two runs in the top of the first, set up by a single by Walker Wilson and a Hank Allred walk; Wilson eventually scored on a passed ball, while Allred was knocked in on a ground out by Cohen Morrow.
Leading 2-1 in the top of the fourth, the Outlaws extended their lead to 3-1, courtesy of a leadoff double by Ryan Hoover; Hoover later scored on an error. The Knights pulled within a run at 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, but would get no closer — Evanston scored five more runs to put the game out of reach.
Hoover led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs. Gavin Oliver doubled for his only hit, knocking in a run; Morrow, Walker Wilson and Brodee Clifton rounded out the hitting with one apiece, with Morrow and Damian Kaman finishing with 2 RBIs each.
Walker Wilson picked up the win on the mound for the Outlaws, giving up just two runs on two hits and striking out five through five innings. Jacson Osborn pitched two hitless innings in relief, striking out one.
Green River 4,
Game two of Monday’s doubleheader once again saw the Outlaws take an early lead, only to have it slip away when Green River scored three runs in the bottom of the second. Evanston would threaten late but was unable to get runners across the plate, falling 4-1.
“We had runners in scoring position, Green River just made the plays they needed to to keep us from scoring,” Small said. “It was excellent baseball, by both teams.”
The Outlaws scattered five hits over seven innings, led by a 2-for-2 performance from Hank Allred. Gavin Oliver, Brodee Clifton and Damian Kaman rounded out the hitting with one apiece; Walker Wilson had the game’s only RBI. Evanston had five stolen bases on the day, led by two each from Kaman and Allred; Cohen Morrow Morrow also had a stolen base.
Oliver took the loss on the mound for Evanston, allowing four runs on five hits (one earned) and striking out five through five innings. Ryder Wilson pitched a scoreless inning in relief, allowing no hits.