by nathan oster
A prolonged batting slump turned a promising start into a disappointing finish for the Greybull Majors, who dropped all three of their games at a recent tournament in Worland to end the season with a 9-7 mark.
There’s no debating where the tide of the season turned, as the team won all nine of its league games against Worland, Thermopolis and Otto and was flying high going into a tournament in Cody. But it lost all four there — and couldn’t shake the slump while losing three straight in Worland.
“Batting was one of our strong points during our good stretch,” said Coach Nolan Tracy. “If you looked through, we were scoring 14, 15 runs a game. But once we got to the tournament, the most we mustered, I think was about seven.
“I don’t believe it was because the pitching was so much better than we’d seen (earlier in the year). I’m not sure what it was … whether it was a confidence issue or what. We just stopped hitting.”
The Majors managed to score in all three of their games in Worland — just not enough to be competitive. They lost to Lovell 9-3, Powell 11-4 and Riverton 12-2.
Brock Hill and Max Mills each had three hits — two singles and a double — in the loss to Lovell, while Braeden Tracy had two, including a double and a single. Greybull had nine hits in the game. Those hits just did not come with runners on base.
No Greybull batter had more than one hit in the loss to Powell. Alex Schlattmann had the only extra-base hit, a double.
Schlattmann also led the offense in the Riverton game, finishing with a double and a single. For the game, Greybull was credited with just six hits.
Tracy said his pitching staff performed well in the two tournaments but was let down by its defense, and with the offense in a slump, those miscues which led to unearned runs proved too significant to overcome.
Looking ahead to next season, the Majors will lose four 12-year-olds in Alex Schlattmann, Max Mills, Morgan Dowling and Corbin Adams, who will be too old to play on the team, which is for kids ages 11 and 12.
Tracy hopes to recruit some new players to take their place.
Despite the seven-game skid to end the season, the Majors still finished with a winning record.
“We won the league crown, which was great,” Tracy said. “We just didn’t have a good showing in the postseason. I was disappointed for the kids. As well as they played during the year … if they’d have done that in the postseason, they would have won some games.”