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Pioneers fall to Big Sticks in Expedition League title game

Pioneers fall to Big Sticks in Expedition League title game
(KNEB/Cottrell)

Back to back titles was not in the cards for the Western Nebraska Pioneers on Sunday night at Oregon Trail Park Stadium in Gering as it was the Badlands Big Sticks downing the Pioneers by the final of 6-5 to win the 2019 Expedition League title.

The road team won all three games in the championship series.

Last night, just like Saturday, it was Badlands getting out to an early lead that they would never relinquish.

The Big Sticks scored one run in the first inning and then put together back to back two run frames in the third and fourth innings.

The Pioneers started to battle back in the sixth inning scoring twice on RBI knocks from Alonso Bibiano and Will Olson. And then in the seventh inning the Pioneers scored two more runs as Cole Gambill came up with an RBI double and Badlands passed along a freebie on a wild pitch.

Trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning the Pioneers caught an early break as Gambill’s fly ball was dropped by the center fielder to start the inning. Gambill eventually came in to score on a error by the third baseman to cut the deficit to 6-5.

With the tying run on first and just one out, though, Cort Dietrich induced a 4-6-3 double play ball off the bat of Jordan Rathbone to seal the title for the Big Sticks.

The Pioneers finished the season at 49-16 and they once again led the league in attendance at over 1,100 people per game at Oregon Trail Park Stadium.

Big Sticks     1  0  2  2  0  0  1  0  0          6     7     4

Pioneers      0  0  0  0  0  2  2  0  1          5     8     1

WP – Malik Barrington

LP – Landon Odom

SV – Cort Dietrich

Pioneers RBI’s – Will Olson (2), Cole Gambill, Alonso Bibiano

2B- Cole Gambill

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