Aside from a rough third inning, which saw Laramie connect for two home runs off Pioneer starter Scotty Jameson, Powell was in cruise control for much of the game. The middle third of Powell's batting order -- Jameson, Auston Carter and Colter Bostick -- combined to go 9-for-15 at the plate, driving home six runs and scoring six more in the victory.
After momentarily slipping behind 5-4 after Laramie's longball display in the third, Powell went on top for good with two runs in the top of the fourth, then added single tallies in the fifth and sixth. Powell blew the game open with two runs in the eighth and finished things off with three in the ninth.
Powell fans survived a few nervous moments in the bottom of the eighth when Jameson cramped up on the hill -- both Pioneers games today were played in 90-plus degree heat. Cramping was a factor on the Laramie side as well as the game was stopped a total of three times to address the issue in various players.
There was no prying the baseball out of Jameson's hands, however. The Arkansas State University product registered three of the final five outs via strikeout and finished the championship game with 13 punch-outs total. He allowed a total of 10 hits and four walks, three of which came after his bout with cramps. The Pioneers held Laramie hitless through the sixth, seventh and eighth innings as they exerted control on the scoreboard.
Powell advances to Pacific Northwest regional play in Bozeman, Mont. First games will be played on Thursday. The Pioneers finished third at last year's regional tournament.