In a weekend of ups and downs, the Cody Legion baseball team learned a few lessons during its second-place finish in the Lions Wood Bat Tourney in Cody.
“We have to be ready every game and come out with more intensity,” Cody Phillips said.
In the tournament, Laurel went undefeated to finish first, Gallatin Valley took third and Powell fourth.
The Cubs went 3-1 in the tournament and are now 31-8. They host Sheridan on Tuesday at 5 and 7 p.m.
Cody 6, Gallatin Valley 0
Behind the solid pitching of Heston Williams, the Cubs started the tournament by defeating Gallatin Valley, Mont., 6-0 on Friday.
“I thought it was good to see us come out with intent in the first game,” coach Bart Grenz said.
Williams pitched all 7 innings, giving up just four hits and striking out six. The defense was solid behind him as just three Gallatin batters reached base through five innings.
“Heston really set the tone from the beginning of the game,” coach Grenz said.
The Outlaws’ best chance to score came in the sixth when they loaded the bases with three singles. But the final batter hit a deep ball to left to Tristan Blatt to end the inning. They went down in order in the seventh.
“Heston did great and the defense was solid and made plays,” Blatt said.
The Cubs got on the board almost right away. Elijah Leyva reached on an error and advanced on a ground out by Tyler Grenz. Another error put Jared Grenz on based and scored Leyva. After Blatt walked, Jack Schroeder hit a single to center to score another run.
“We wanted to get on fast and start strong,” Blatt said.
Cody added to its lead in the third. Tyler Grenz walked and Jared Grenz hit a single. Blatt scored one run on a double. Another run scored on a ground out by Schroeder. Williams then hit a double to make it 5-0 and Ethan Johnston hit a double to score the Cubs final run.
“Gallatin was a good team and is leading their conference so it was good to see us put runs on them early,” coach Grenz said.
Offensively Cody finished with nine hits. Blatt went 2-2, Phillips 2-3 and Jack Schroeder 1-2.
“The wood bats are fun and make it seem more professional,” Blatt said.
Laurel 6, Cody 4
The crispness and efficiency the Cubs played with Friday night was sorely lacking on Saturday, but the Cubs still managed to win one of two.
“We’re working to find our identity,” coach Grenz said. “We lost it for a couple games but I believe this team will work to right the ship and get things going back in the right direction.”
Up first was Laurel. The Dodgers scored two in the first inning but Cody answered in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Jared Grenz hit a single, Blatt walked and Schroeder reached on an error. A single by Heston Williams to left tied the game.
Cody went silent offensively through the next several innings while Laurel regained and extended its lead. The Dodgers scored one in the third and fourth and two in the fifth on a wild pitch and error. Cody had four errors during the game.
The Cubs began to rally in the seventh. Devyn Engdahl, Cody Phillips and Hayden Bronnenberg hit singles to score one run. Tyler Grenz then walked. Jared Grenz hit a sac fly to bring in another, but the Cubs left two runners stranded.
“I don’t think we were ready,” Bronnenberg said of the team’s struggles. “We didn’t come out ready to play.”
At the plate Jared Grenz went 2-4 with a triple, and Engdahl and Bronnenberg 1-1.
“I love the wood bats,” Bronnenberg said. “I like the feel when you hit with them.”
Leyva took the loss, giving up six runs, four earned, on eight hits through 5 innings. Bronnenberg pitched 2 innings and allowed no runs or hits.
“I thought Elijah pitched well,” coach Grenz said. “Laurel is a great club with a lot of experience.”
Cody 12, Douglas 11
In the second game the Cubs again struggled and had six errors, but managed to create enough offense to earn the win.
“Late in the game our intensity fell off a little bit, we had some mental lapses and they crept back in,” coach Grenz said. “It was good to see our guys keep their heads up and finish that game.”
In the first, Cody scored one run. Jared Grenz hit a single and advanced to third on an error by the left fielder. Blatt then hit a single to bring him in. Cody loaded the bases but didn’t score again.
The Cats took a 2-1 lead in the second, but Cody answered quickly. Bronnenberg and Alex Evans drew walks and Leyva singled to load the bases. Bronnenberg scored on a passed ball and Evans came in on a wild pitch. After Tyler Grenz walked, Jared Grenz hit a sac fly to make it 4-2.
Douglas tied the game in the fourth and again Cody answered. Leyva hit a single, Tyler Grenz walked and Jared Grenz hit a sac bunt to advance the runners. Blatt then hit a sac fly to give the Cubs the lead and a single by Schroeder made it 6-4. Engdahl then hit a single and Max Williams would bring in two on a line drive to left.
The Cats scored one in the fifth and in the bottom of the frame, Tyler Grenz walked and scored on a double by Jared Grenz. Blatt then reached on an error and Schroeder hit a sac fly to center to make it 10-5.
Things almost got away from the Cubs in the sixth. Four errors and two singles scored four runs for Douglas to make it 10-9. But Blatt came in and got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
At bat, Ethan Johnston was hit by a pitch to reach and Phillips hit a double to score him. Phillips then scored on a wild pitch with some heads-up base running, coming from second all the way home. It was a critical run as once again the Cubs let Douglas get back in the game in the seventh.
An error and three singles made it 12-11, with two on and the go-ahead run on second before Blatt got the final batter to ground out to end the game.
“We let them hang around,” Bronnenberg said. “But getting the win shows our competitiveness. We’re not going to give up.”
At the plate Jared Grenz went 2-2, Leyva 2-4 and Schroeder and Phillips 1-1.
Max Williams earned the win, giving up five runs on six hits. Tyler Grenz pitched 1/3 of an inning and gave up four runs, none earned, on two hits. Blatt pitched 1 2/3 innings and got the save, allowing two runs on three hits.
“Max went out and really battled,” coach Grenz said. “He’s definitely showing us that when he’s on the mound he has that competitive spirit.”
Cody 12, Powell 2
A big fifth inning in which Cody scored eight runs helped the team earn a 12-2 victory over Powell on Sunday.
The Cubs led 3-2 heading into the fifth, which started with back-to-back singles by Tyler Grenz and Johnston. With one out on a fly out by Jared Grenz, Blatt then hit a homer to center to give Cody a 6-2 lead.
“The big thing was when Tristan scored three runs,” Phillips said. “That got everyone up.”
Up next was Heston Williams who hit a double. Engdahl then walked and Max Williams hit a single to score another run. After Bronnenberg hit a fly ball for two away, Phillips hit a two RBI single and Tyler Grenz an RBI double. Leyva then hit a single and Jared Grenz walked to load the bases. Blatt walked to bring in the final run of the inning before Heston Williams flied out to left for the third out.
“I don’t mind the wood bats but they’re a lot different,” Phillips said. “There’s not as much pop, but it was fun and something different.”
The Cubs first got on the board in the second with three runs. Blatt reached on a dropped third strike and stole second and third. With two outs Evans walked. The first run came in on an error, and a double by Phillips made it 3-0.
Powell scored one run in the third on a single and another in the fourth, which saw three errors by the Cubs.
“Our intensity was better than yesterday but it still needs to be higher,” Phillips said. “The defense was good for the most part but a couple of errors should not have happened.”
Up 11-2 in the sixth, Cody needed just one more run to end the game. Max Williams walked, Bronnenberg was hit by a pitch and Phillips walked to load the bases. Tyler Grenz then hit a sac fly to center to bring in the final run.
At the plate Cody finished with 10 hits. Phillips went 2-3, Tyler Grenz 2-4, and Max Williams and Leyva 1-1.
Phillips earned the win, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits through 6 innings.
“Phillips looked good in our last game against Powell,” coach Grenz said. “He’s really coming around as a pitcher and seems to be getting better each game out.”