Jackson Hole Giants feast at home, grab 3 wins in 4 tries

The Post 43 Jackson Giants invited local VFW to Giants Field for their opening home games with Rock Springs. The color guard brought the pageantry, the Giants bats supplied the pop.

Jackson 21, Rock Springs 3

In a doubleheader heard live on KZ95 radio, Jackson hosted the north version of the Southwest Series that culminated in Rock Springs the weekend prior. The first opponent (victim) for the G-men was Rock Springs—a team in a rebuilding year the Giants have feasted on in the early going.

The Jackson bats have been redhot to start the ’22 season and the hometown crowd got their first look at just how explosive this offense is. In just 4 innings at the plate in the mercy-shortened contest, Post 43 put up 21 runs on 15 hits with three different Giants going yard.

The hits came from everywhere. Nine different batters reached safely, five of them enjoyed multi-hit games.

Lucas Gralund hit his first round-tripper of the season, a 2-run blast that capped a 7-inning 1st for the Giants. Trayson Kostial pounded out his third homer of the year in the Giants’ 7-run 3rd inning. Even speedster Mason Wright reached the fence with a mammoth, wind-aided blast to the deepest part of the ball park and over the tall wall in center.

Aaron Huggins worked the first 3 innings for Jackson to pick up the win. He surrendered just 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 4. He did not walk a batter.

Luke Moore mopped up and looked impressive despite the 5 hits. Nothing was barreled up and the 2 runs the sidearmer gave up were both unearned.

Jackson 11, Rock Springs 9

Give the Stallions credit. Most visiting teams would be looking for a place to hide after the football score beatdown in Game 1 of the twinbill Friday. After falling behind 2-0 in the opening frame, Rock Springs chased starter Ayden Gralund with 3 in the 2nd to take a brief lead over the Giants.

But Jackson plated 4 in the bottom of the 3rd, and 4 more in the 4th, to regain the lead although Rock Springs wasn’t quite ready to surrender yet.

Coach Jason Huggins gave the pitching staff a workout as he made 4 calls to the bullpen, trotting out Owen Khanna for a very impressive 3 innings. He was credited with the win. Warren Newton, who struggled with command. Wylie Wilkes got the Giants out of a jam in the 6th but then started to meltdown in the 7th and had to be removed. Xander Witt had to come out to get the final two outs and pick up the save in the 11-9 Giants win.

Jackson 10, Cody 6

Jackson and two-time defending champs Cody were locked up in a wild one Saturday afternoon. It was a pitchers duel for much of the way with Jackson’s Ethan Garner and Cody’s Jackson Schroeder locked up in a good one through 4 innings.

The Giants took a 1-0 lead early but the Cubs answered with a pair in the 3rd. Jackson regained the lead 3-2 through a scoreless 5th. That’s when the floodgates opened.

Xander Witt was roughed up a bit in the 6th when he served up a 3-run shot to Jackson Schroeder and the Cubs took a commanding 6-3 lead into the bottom half of the 6th.

The Post 43 bats went to work in front of a vocal home crowd. A Mason Wright leadoff double was followed by a Matt Fisher single scoring the speedy Wright. That’s when Lucas Gralund took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for his 2nd homer of the weekend to tie the game.

A 2-run double by Ethan Garner gave the Giants the lead for good as they put away Cody 10-6.

Gallatin Valley 14, Jackson 2

Post 43 never could quite find their footing against Montana’s Gallatin Valley in the final game of the tournament Saturday night.

Galley Valley starter Bo Hayes fanned 9 and worked a complete game 1-hitter to pick up the win for the Montana team.

Gallatin Valley jumped on Jackson starter Mason Wright for 4 runs in the 1st. Wright took the loss and handed over pitching chores to Wylie Wilkes, who looked good until he didn’t. Mat Fisher worked a final rocky 6-run inning.

Next up

The 3-1 weekend gets the Giants to 11-7 on the young season.

Post 43 heads to Gillette this weekend for the Kirby Drube Memorial Tournament where they will face the Sheridan Troopers, Alliance Nebrask, Laurel Dodgers, Gillette Riders, and the Bozeman Bucks.

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