HELENA — The Helena Reps bounced back from a tough loss on Thursday to win an elimination game against Butte, 15-0, in five innings on Friday.
The victory in the American Legion Class Southern District Tournament at Kindrick Legion Field moved Helena to a Saturday contest against Bozeman at 10 a.m., in an elimination game.
After scoring a run in the opening inning, the Reps erupted for 13 runs in the second inning. Helena sent 13 men to the plate in the inning, which consisted of five hits, three hit batsmen, two walks, an error, a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Helena’s Hunter Lindgren and Joe Hurlbert collaborated on the shutout. Lindgren started on the bump and went three innings, scattering three hits, while striking out four batters and walking two.
Carsen Dodge suffered the loss, giving up 11 runs in 1⅓ innings.
Trysten Mooney and Ethan Keintz spearheaded the Helena's nine-hit offense with two each. Keintz knocked a double and drove in two runs. Caden Sell and Tyler Tenney both had a single and two RBIs apiece.
Butte’s Egan Lester had two hits.
The home team played errorless ball, compared to the Muckers’ five miscues. Two of Helena’s better defensive plays occurred in the first stanza, when shortstop Tenney speared a liner to save a run, and the final out, when centerfielder Colby Howell made a diving catch on a sinking liner behind second base to preserve the whitewash.
“Our energy, focus and approaches at the plate were much better than yesterday, it was nice to see the kids bounce back after yesterday,” Reps coach Dane Broadhead said. “Hunter had a nice outing on the mound, he settled in and stayed ahead in the count, and challenged the hitters with his fastball and curve.”
Belgrade 10, Bozeman 4
No. 1 Belgrade defeated No. 4 Bozeman to advance to the tourney’s semifinals. Bandits starting pitcher Coby Richards twirled a four-hitter over six innings, allowing four runs, three of which were unearned. He fanned five and issued two walks. Parker McMan sustained the defeat.
Bozeman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Belgrade answered right back with five runs in their half of the inning before scoring five more the rest of the way.
Brendon Matthews led Belgrade with three hits, while teammate Cole Thomas posted two RBIs. Justin Riekenberg and Colton Charnholm stroked a triple and a double, respectively.
Next, the Bandits will face the winner of the GVO-Livingston game at 4 p.m. Saturday. Bozeman meets Helena at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.
“It wasn’t our cleanest game defensively, but the offense carried us and Coby threw well,” Bandits coach Johnny Graham said. “I’m proud how he kept his composure.”
GVO 12, Livingston 2
No. 2 Gallatin Valley routed Livingston in five innings in the last game of the night at Kindrick Legion Field. Next up for the Outlaws is 4 p.m. semis contest against Belgrade, while the Braves will face Dillon at 1.
"We took care of business," GVO coach Duwayne Scott said. "We've played two games in 10 innings, which I believe is a big advantage for us. Our pitcher Hunter Johnson struggled at first, but then he settled down and started throwing strikes."
Ryan Murphy sparked the Outlaws attack with a single, a double and five RBIs. Teammate Michael Nehring had three hits, with a two-bagger and two RBIs.
Johnson finished with a four-hitter, whiffing six Braves. Scott Tatum took the loss for Livingston.
Dillon 8, Anaconda 4
Dillon’s Ben Jones and Jade Morast combined for six RBIs, leading the Cubs to a win over Anaconda in an elimination game during the second day of the Southern A District Legion Baseball Tournament.
The win advanced Dillon to Saturday’s elimination game at 1 p.m. versus the loser of the Livingston-GVO contest.
Cubs starting pitcher Michael Hupp went 6⅓ innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits.
“Anaconda’s pitcher (Bryant Morris) did a nice job keeping us off balance, until we were fortunate to string enough hits and runs together for the win,” Dillon coach Greg Fitgerald said. “Michael did a great job on the mound throwing strikes and the defense did their job behind him. So we’re hoping for another day like to day tomorrow.”
Morast went 3-for-3 with a double, while Jones was 2-for-3. Teammate Hunter Wentworth also produced two hits with a double.
Anaconda had eight hits as well with Brendon Sawyer, Luke Jensen (triple) and Morris (double) collecting two base knocks apiece.