When it comes to finding a place to spend a long holiday weekend, one could do worse than Teton County, Wyoming.
Mix in beautiful weather and a ton of baseball, it’s a combination that’s hard to beat. The Evanston Legion AA baseball team did exactly that over the 4th of July weekend, posting a 2-3 record at the Teton Classic baseball tournament in Jackson.
Evanston opened the tournament Thursday morning with an 8-0 loss to the Madison Bobcats, a team out of Rexburg, Idaho. Evanston bounced back later that day with a 4-3 nailbiter against Idaho Falls, and followed that with a decisive 16-3 win Friday over Thunder Ridge, another Idaho Falls club. Kemmerer’s Clayton Moyles and Caysen Smith were the winning pitchers in the Idaho Falls and Thunder Ridge contests.
Saturday found the Outlaws on the losing end of a 9-1 contest against Lone Peak Black from Utah; the boys from Post 41 closed out the tournament Sunday with a 12-11 non-conference loss to host Jackson.
“Overall, it was a pretty good weekend,” said Outlaws manager Chad Thompson. “The games we lost can be attributed to too many errors. But that happens over the course of a tournament like that -- you get a little wore out from time to time. But we need to right that ship.”
Evanston will have the chance to even the score this week, as they host Jackson in three conference games beginning Tuesday at Ross Kesterson Field.
“We’re expecting to see two pitchers we haven’t seen from Jackson yet, their top two kids,” Thompson said. “They’ll probably see a couple of our pitchers they haven’t seen yet, as well. If we go out and hit the ball well, we’ll be just fine.”
Madison 8, Outlaws 0
The Outlaws found themselves in a pitcher’s duel early in the opener of the Teton Classic Thursday against the Madison Bobcats -- the game was still knotted at 0-0 heading into the top of the fourth.
“We haven’t played this team before, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Thompson said.
The Bobcats broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fourth, then plated three more in the sixth and one in the seventh to win comfortably 8-0.
“We couldn’t get the bats rolling,” Thompson said. “A few too many walks and untimely errors, and we couldn’t recover from it.”
Jagger Mitchell got the start on the hill for the Outlaws, giving up eight runs on seven hits, though only one of those runs was earned; he also struck out three in six and a third innings of work. Casey Periman pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, striking out one.
The Outlaws managed just three hits in the contest, as Gus Allred, Mitchell and Periman collected a single each.
Outlaws 4, Idaho Falls 3
With little time to regroup between games, the Outlaws took the field for their second contest Thursday against Idaho Falls with a renewed focus. Tied 3-3 in extra innings, Gus Allred provided the late-inning heroics for Evanston, hitting a walk-off single to score Jagger Mitchell and give the Outlaws a 4-3 win.
“Defensively, we were fantastic in that game,” Thompson said. “When you minimize your errors and are able to score some runs, we seem to be able to be in every game.”
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the second, Evanston rallied to take a 2-1 lead after Allred and Kendell Cummings scored on a fielder’s choice by Brenden Thompson. Idaho Falls tied the game at 2-2 with a run in the top of the fourth; the Outlaws re-took the lead following an RBI single by Thompson, his third RBI of the game.
Idaho Falls refused to go down without a fight, tying the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the fifth.
Still tied after the seventh inning, the game went into a California tie-breaker: Each team would get an at-bat, with a runner starting from second and one out; the runner on second would be the player who made the last out the previous inning.
Idaho Falls had first crack in the top of the eighth, but with one out and a runner on second, Outlaws Pitcher Clayton Moyles slammed the door, striking out both batters he faced to end the threat and set the stage for Allred. With Mitchell representing the winning run on third, Allred lined a 2-1 pitch to right field to give Evanston their first win of the tournament.
“We decided to let Gus hit away, and he was seeing the ball really well all weekend,” Thompson said. “He just went with the pitch, didn’t try to do too much, and it found a hole.”
The Allreds have shown to have a flair for coming up big in clutch situations: Younger brother Hank Allred -- who’s played in a couple of games with the AA team this season -- had a walk-off single the night before for the B squad in a 9-8 win over Rock Springs.
“The funny thing is, earlier in the week, their sister Kodi Jean did the same thing in her softball game,” Thompson said, laughing. “It was family walk-off week for the Allreds.”
Moyles picked up his fourth win of the season for the Outlaws, giving up three runs on three hits (one earned) and striking out an impressive 12 hitters in a complete-game performance.
At the plate, Evanston had eight hits in the contest, led by two hits and the winning RBI by Allred. Thompson had a hit and a team-high 3 RBIs, while Reid Gross, Mitchell, Ryan Fisher, Cummings and Casey Periman finished with a hit apiece.
Outlaws 16, Thunder Ridge 3
The Outlaws took the field Friday with a renewed focus, and it showed in the box score -- Evanston’s bats awoke to the tune of 11 hits in a 16-3 drubbing of Thunder Ridge.
“When you can score 11 runs in one inning, things are rolling pretty well,” Thompson said.
The Outlaws exploded for nine of their 11 hits in the first inning against Thunder Ridge. Led by a two-run double from Casey Periman, an RBI double from Gus Allred and RBI singles by Brenden Thompson, Jagger Mitchell and Allred, Evanston plated 11 runs in the opening frame.
The Outlaws added five more runs in the bottom of the third, led by a two-run double by Ryan Fisher and an RBI single by Periman. After a scoreless top of the fourth by Thunder Ridge, the game ended on the 10-run rule.
Kemmerer’s Caysen Smith went the distance on the mound for the Outlaws, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out three for his first win of the season.
“Caysen threw fantastic in that game for us,” Thompson said.
Four Outlaws collected multiple hits in the contest, led by Allred and Periman -- the pair each finished 2-for-2 with a double and 3 RBIs. Clayton Moyles and Reid Gross also had a pair of hits, with Moyles crossing the plate three times and Gross twice. Mitchell, Fisher and Thompson belted a hit apiece, with each knocking in a pair of runs.
Gross and Moyles were responsible for the Outlaws’ two stolen bases.
Lone Peak Black 9, Outlaws 1
The Outlaws celebrated the 4th of July with a rematch against Lone Peak Black, a team they lost to earlier this season at the Ross Kesterson Memorial Tournament in Evanston.
The Outlaws kept it close for much of the game, and trailed just 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth -- Kendall Cummings smacked an RBI single in the top of the second for Evanston’s only run.
Lone Peak plated five runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach, and with Evanston unable to get anything going late, the Black took the rematch 9-1.
“Lone Peak is a solid club all around,” Thompson said. “We were hanging with them -- we were in the game. We just couldn’t score runs.”
Gus Allred took the loss on the bump for the Outlaws, giving up four runs on six hits (all earned) and striking out three in three innings of work. Ryan Fisher pitched an inning and two-thirds in relief, giving up five runs on four hits, all unearned.
“You get down to Saturday -- with conference games scheduled for the following Tuesday -- you start putting guys on pitch counts,” Thompson said. “So that definitely made a difference.”
Evanston’s bats were quiet, scattering three hits over five innings -- Cummings had two of his team’s three hits, with a double and an RBI. Clayton Moyles had the Outlaws’ third hit, a single in the top of the third.
Jackson 12, Outlaws 11
The Outlaws closed out the tournament Sunday against conference rival and tournament host Jackson, squandering an 11-8 lead late to fall 12-11.
“We committed eight errors and only gave up four earned runs,” Thompson said. “You do that, and you probably deserve to lose a game. There were some routine plays that we struggled with.”
Evanston had their bats going early, plating eight runs in the top of the second and two runs in the top of the third to lead 10-3 -- RBI doubles by Caysen Smith, Gus Allred and Clayton Moyles, a two-run single by Brenden Thompson and RBI singles by Ryan Fisher and Moyles highlighted that two-inning span.
Jackson cut the lead to 10-8 with five runs in the bottom of the third, then took the lead with a run in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to make it 12-11.
Outlaws starting pitcher Ethan Beus gave up eight runs on five hits (four earned) in two innings of work. Jordan Scneider was saddled with the loss in relief, giving up three unearned runs on two hits; Casey Periman pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up an unearned run.
Evanston pounded out 11 hits in the contest, led by three hits and an RBI by Allred. Clayton Moyles went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs, while Smith (a double and an RBI) and Kendell Cummings also finished with two hits. Thompson (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) and Fisher (1-for-3, an RBI) rounded out the hitting.