by nathan oster
A break in the schedule apparently did the Greybull Geckos some good. After losing three of four to top-shelf competition in Powell, the Geckos returned to action last weekend and couldn’t be stopped, winning 8-2 Friday in Cowley and then stringing together three straight victories to claim the championship at a tournament in Worland on Saturday.
With the wins, the Geckos improved to 8-3.
Coach Joe Forcella called his team’s 8-2 triumph over the Cowley Rockies “a great bounce-back” after the Powell tournament. Calder Forcella limited the Rockies to just two hits and fanned nine in five innings to pick up the win.
Calder and Dawson Forcella, Oscar Gomez and Zack Zeller each had two hits to pace the offense, which banged out 10 in the five-inning contest. Cade Dooley stole three bases and Dawson Forcella two.
“Our defense stayed solid for the full game,” said Coach Forcella, who credited Zeller, in particular, for his slick fielding plays that helped the Geckos keep the Cowley offense in check. “Those plays really made the difference to get out of the innings with no damage.”
A four-run fifth inning sent the Geckos to the win.
“It’s always nice when you hand Cowley a loss on its own turf,” said Forcella.
Still brimming with confidence, the Geckos went to Worland on Saturday and took care of business, beating Otto 12-7, Thermopolis 15-5 and Worland 6-4 to capture the title.
The Geckos overcame an early 4-1 deficit against Otto. Four-run outbursts in both the fourth and fifth innings were the difference. Zack Zeller, who came on in relief of Oscar Gomez, picked up the win.
Treston Tracy had two hits, including a triple, and knocked in two runs. Calder Forcella also tripled and had two RBIs. Justin Bacus and Dawson Forcella also finished with two hits.
Bacus was the difference in the Thermopolis game. After Cade Dooley surrendered five runs, Bacus came on and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out two, to get the victory.
It was a hit parade for the Greybull offense, as Zeller and Dawson Forcella each had two hits to lead the 10-hit attack. Tracey and Dawson Forcella were each credited with two RBIs.
The Geckos claimed the title with a hard-earned 6-4 win over Worland in which they scored in every inning. Bacus worked four quality innings, giving up just four hits while fanning four. Just one of the four runs scored by Worland was an earned run. Zack Zeller earned the save, pitching a hitless and scoreless fifth.
Fabian Davila went 2-for-3 and stole four bases out of the leadoff spot. Zeller, Calder Forcella, Dante Sylvester and Tracy also contributed two hits for the Geckos, who finished with 13 for the game.
“It was nice to win this tourney … we got a lot out of our young players,” said Coach Forcella. “Miguel Gomez got his first appearance on the mound and handed out several strikeouts against Otto. Cade Dooley also opened up against Thermop and got some good experience.
“Our team always seemed to have someone step up when we needed a big play or hit to change the momentum of the game. For example, Wyatt Nielson had a great hit against Thermop to right center to drive in a run. Treston Tracey had a couple of hits that drove in two runners. Riley Hill through out people from third base a couple of different times to end the inning. Zack Zeller laid down a squeeze bunt to shake up the opponent. Jake Gifford made it to first on a third strike dropped ball to find himself getting around the bases and scoring a run. Dante Sylvester at second base made several plays. Dawson Forcella was consistent at the plate driving in several runs.
“I was really happy with Justin Bacus who closed the game out with Thermop and then opened with worland. Oscar Gomez and Calder both stayed strong with big bats. Fabian Davila with his base running. No one could throw him out while he stole base after base. We have a special team in that they are not selfish in any way. They believe in each other and trust each other to make a play when needed. They are a special group of kids.”
The Geckos host a league game with Cowley today (Thursday, June 28) starting at 6 p.m.
This weekend they will play at a tournament in Rawlins.