by nathan oster
The Greybull Geckos went 3-0 during their first big week of Babe Ruth action, beating Worland 11-1, Otto 16-7 and Thermopolis 28-17.
The team rode the right arm of Calder Forcella to its six-inning rout of the Worland team on May 30. Forcella worked five dominant innings, striking out nine and surrendering just a single run before giving way to Zach Zeller, who pitched a scoreless sixth.
“We controlled the game both offensively and defensively,” said Manager Joe Forcella, whose team had just two errors and 13 hits. Leading batsmen included Dawson Forcella (three singles), Zeller and Calder Forcella (each with two singles), Treston Tracy (two doubles), Justin Bacus (single and double) and Fabian Davila and Oscar Gomez (each with one hit).
“The kids were very aggressive on the running the bases and sealing and have stepped up their level of place away from the ball.”
Greybull used a five-run fourth and a four-run sixth to put Worland away.
The offense put on another good show in its home-opening 16-7 rout of Otto on May 31.
The game was close (5-2) through three innings before Greybull broke it open with a four-run fourth and a three-run fifth.
Four pitchers worked in the game, with Riley Hill going the first two-plus innings. Zeller and Bacus also pitched in relief before Calder Forcella came in to slam the door in the top of the seventh inning.
“A good game; got a little sloppy toward the end, but we pulled it together to finish it off,” said Forcella.
Dawson Forcella had a big night at the plate, belting an inside-the-park home run and a double and knocking in two runs. Tracy also had three RBIs.
The Geckos capped the week with an offensive explosion, scoring in every inning but one in their 28-18 win over Thermopolis on June 1. Greybull had an eight-run fifth, highlighted by another inside-the-park homer by Dawson Forcella. Calder Forcella and Davila each had three RBIs, while Bacus had two.
Dawson Forcella, Bacus, Cade Dooley and Zeller handled the pitching chores in the seven-inning contest.
“The game was close at first as Thermopolis hit the ball well, but by the fourth-inning they had run through their pitchers and the game was ours,” said Forcella. “We batted well and ran the bases aggressively.
“A couple of our younger pitchers got some experience and other players were able to try out some different positions defensively as the game got into the later innings.”
The Geckos will try to keep it going this week at the Powell Tournament, which Forcella believes will be a good test. “We will face some new teams and probably get a better idea of what we need to work on. We should be in the mix and will hopefully have some fun.”
Overall, Forcella remains optimistic about his team’s chances.
“Barring injuries and absences, we have a great shot at state,” he said. “The roster includes six sophomores, two freshmen, three eighth graders and two seventh graders. Our age and experience is starting to pay off as we face these teams.
“Fundamentally we have experienced a lot of growth over the past couple of years and are pretty solid now. Adding Dusty Hill to the coaching staff has also brought a new level of intensity to the game as the baserunners attack and disassemble the defenses they face.
“Our bats are solid and our play in the field is strong. Kids are making good decisions when the ball comes their way and it is fun to see them playing at such a competitive level.”