Improving Mustangs C squad wins four of six

David Peck

The Lovell Mustangs C baseball team is heating up with four wins in six games over the past week.

Lovell went 2-2 at a tournament in Green River Friday and Saturday, then swept Riverton Monday evening at home.

“The boys played tough,” coach Greg Rael said. “We’re getting better as the season progresses. Our starting nine is starting to take form. The mistakes we were making earlier in the season are limited, which is what we like to see. Everybody is hitting the ball substantially better, too.”

Friday, the Mustangs clobbered Riverton 16-1 and were shut out by Lander, 4-0. Saturday, they fell to host Green River 6-2 but stopped Jackson Prep 9-6.

In game one Friday, the Mustangs scored 16 runs on five hits as Riverton made six errors and walked 10. Lovell led 7-1 after two innings, then put the game away with nine runs in the third.

Mac Morgan, Easton Morgan and Kannon Owens had two runs batted in each, Jaxen Baxendale, Hudson Miller and Harper Morgan one apiece. Owens started on the mound and pitched two innings for the Mustangs, allowing one run on two hits while striking out one. Harper Morgan pitched the third inning, allowing two hits but no runs.

The Mustangs could generate just one hit against the Lander Legends, a single by Taevyn Gruell. Starter Dallin Bischoff and reliever Harper Morgan allowed two runs each against Lander, and Mac Morgan and Kyson Crosby also threw in relief.

Saturday split

A four-run fifth inning spelled doom for the Mustangs in the 6-2 loss to Green River Saturday. Lovell led early with a run in the top of the first, but the Knights plated two runs in the fourth and added the four-run fifth to take control of the game. Lovell scored a final run in the sixth.

Owens led the Mustangs with two hits, and Mac Morgan, Gruell and Easton Morgan had one hit apiece. Owens had the lone RBI. Aaiden Walker started and pitched four innings for Lovell, Owens the final two innings. Each allowed three runs.

The finale Saturday saw the Mustangs top the Jackson Prep 15U squad 9-6. Trailing 1-0, the Mustangs scored four runs in the second inning, three in the third and two in the fourth to lead 9-1. Kade Durtsche and Rocco Rael had RBI singles in the second inning, Bischoff a run-scoring single in each the third and fourth frames.

After allowing an initial run in the first inning, Rael threw three shutout innings for the Mustangs before tiring and allowing four runs in the fifth. Mac Morgan relieved and pitched the sixth.

Lovell banged out 11 hits in the game, three by Bischoff, two each by Rael and Owens, and one apiece off the bats of Mac Morgan, Gruell, Baxendale, Ryan Grant and Durtsche.

Home sweep

The Mustangs powered past Riverton 21-3 and 13-6 in Cowley Monday to move their record to 6-7 on the season.

Lovell briefly trailed 1-0 in the first game, then plated 11 runs in the bottom of the first to forge a big lead. After Riverton scored two in the second, the Mustangs responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame and seven in the third to put the game far out of reach.

Hudson Miller had a remarkable game at the plate, driving in five runs while going 3-4 at the plate including a double and a triple. He also scored three runs. Grant went 4-4 with two runs and two RBIs, and he, too, had a double and a triple. Gruell had two hits as the Lovell nine crushed Riverton pitching for 15 hits in three innings. Eight Riverton errors helped the Lovell cause, as well.

Lefty Easton Morgan went all four innings on the mound for Lovell, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks.

Riverton scored six runs in the second inning off Lovell starter Crosby in game two, but the home team plated three runs in the first inning, two in the second, third and fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth to win going away.

Baxendale, Durtsche, Gruell and Lukas Miller had two hits each for the Mustangs, Jaxson Miller, Crosby and Bischoff one apiece.

Starter Crosby allowed six runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks in four innings of work, fanning five. Owens pitched the final three innings, blanking the Raiders on two hits and no walks while whiffing three.

“With our two conference games against Riverton last night, we knew what they had coming in, because we played them in Green River,” Rael said. “They’re pretty young and spread thin number wise. Our boys took care of business. Again, everybody hit the ball well. It’s good to be fully healthy, too.

“Dallin Bischoff, Kyson Crosby, Kannon Owens and Mac Morgan have all missed time due to injury. With everybody back and fully healthy, we’re finally clicking. We’re in Powell this weekend for another tournament. There are only three other teams there besides us: Cody Powell and Green River. We’ll see how we match up and go have some fun.”

Powell tourney

The Mustangs will compete at a tournament in Powell this weekend.

Lovell will open with the host Pioneers Friday at 11 a.m., then take on Cody at 2 p.m. Saturday, the Mustangs will meet Green River at 1:30 p.m.

The Mustangs will travel to meet the Sheridan Infantry next Wednesday, June 12, at noon and 2 p.m., then play a doubleheader in Worland on Saturday, June 15, at 4 and 6 p.m.