The Helena Senators dropped a couple of narrow decisions to Kalispell on Sunday, 7-5 in eight innings, and 4-3. The Senators slip to 3-3 on the year after the Class AA Legion doubleheader at Kindrick Legion Field.
In the opener, Helena led 3-1 after the first inning and added another run in the third to go up 4-1. Then the Lakers pushed across a pair of markers in the fourth and another in the fifth to knot things up at 4-all.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kalispell left fielder Patrick O'Connell made a game-saving catch on Conor McCarvel's hard-hit fly ball. O'Connell's running, diving catch to his right robbed McCarvel of a sure double. Next up, Ryan Arntson laced a two-bagger over O'Connell's head which would've scored the winning run for the local group, if not for the Laker outfielder's great play on the previous at-bat.
instead, the game proceeded into extra innings, where the visitors got the win by outscoring the Senators 3-1 in the eighth stanza. Kalispell's Eric Seaman drove in Sam Elliott with an RBI-single for the deciding tally.
Keaton Ralston, Jackson Maynard and Andrew Rosston shared Helena's pitching duties, with Rosston suffering the loss. Kalispell reliever Brady Peiffer got the win.
Helena shortstop Kienan Stief (double) and right fielder Arntson paced the host's offense, with three and two hits, respectively. Teammates Tayler Carlson and Ray Moore posted a pair of RBIs apiece.
In the nightcap, the visitors built a 4-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth frame.
The Senators tallied a pair of runs to close within one in their half of the inning on a double by Colin Sassano, Stief's walk, and a two-run error on Ray Moore's fly ball to right field.
But the Lakers managed to escape with the W, despite the hosts loading the bases with just one out in the bottom of the seventh. Kalispell reliever Johan Fruedenburg collected the win.
Helena used three hurlers -- Tanner McMahon, Moore and Conor McCarvel -- with starter McMahon being stuck with the hard-luck loss. Three of the Lakers' four runs were unearned, as the home team committed six errors.
The Senators out-hit their opponents 8-3, led by Arntson and Sassano (double), with two base knocks apiece, and Stief's RBI double.
"It was a tough day for us, but a great opportunity for improving as a team," Helena coach Dave Thennis said, "and I expect we will do that."