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The Helena Independents went 4-1 during the Missoula Mavericks' Class B tournament recently, raising their record to 24-8.

In Game 1, against the Missoula Mavs, Ethan Keintz and Chase Nielsen each had a pair of hits and both Keintz and Justice Wrzesinski drove in two RBIs as the Independents won 7-4. Cy Miller and Peyton Witham shared the mound work.

Helena lost to Kalispell in the second contest, 4-3. Keintz and Nielsen again led the team with a pair of base knocks, and Rudy Barkley went the distance on the mound.

In Game 3, the Independents won, 3-2. The Helena squad only managed three hits, including a triple and single by Miller, but Sam Shepherd drove in two runs. Campbell Turner went 6 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs on three hits. Hunter Lindgren earned the save.

Helena earned a third win in the tourney when Barkley's three-hit effort sparked the offense. Will Butler hit a bases-clearing, three-run triple and Nielsen drove in two more as the offense backed the pitching Keintz, who gave up two earned runs on six hits over 5 innings.

In Sunday’s finale, the Independents pulled off an extra-inning win in the ninth, on a walk-off double from Keintz. They trailed 7-4 going into the final frame, but Keintz's two-run triple closed the gap to one, and then Nielsen hit a sac fly to tie the game.

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Keintz rapped two doubles and a triple, while Nielsen drove in four markers. Nielsen and Lindgren shared the work on the mound.

-- Curt Synness


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