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July 31: Bozeman Bucks are Montana ALB state champs!

BILLINGS, Mont.--The Bozeman Bucks Class AA American Legion Baseball team beat defending state champion Billings Royals, 6-1, on Wednesday, July 31, at Dehler Stadium to win the Montana-Alberta American Legion Baseball State Tournament.

Bozeman will represent MAALB at the Northwest Regional Tournament at Lewis-Clark College in Lewiston, Idaho, starting Friday, Aug. 7. A tournament championship there brings an ALB World Series berth in Shelby, N.C.

July 30: It's No. 2 Bozeman vs. No. 5 host Billings Royals for state title!

BILLINGS, Mont.--The Bozeman Bucks eliminated the Missoula Mavs, 13-5, on Tuesday in Dehler Park and the tourney host and defending state champion Billings Royals survived loser-out action by eliminating No. 4 Lethbridge, 4-3, to both advance into the 2019 Class AA Montana-Alberta American Legion Baseball State Championship game.

First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. Bozeman has not lost in the tournament, so the Royals will have to beat them twice to win the state title. If needed, the second game of the doubleheader would start about 45 minutes after the first game. 

July 29: Bozeman 10 runs Royals in undefeated seminfinal

BILLINGS--The No. 2 Bozeman Bucks Class AA American Legion Baseball team beat the defending state champion Billings Royals on Monday, July 29, to advance to the state championship game Wednesday night.

No. 1 Missoula and No. 4 Lethbridge survived loser-out games on Monday.

Bozeman will get the chance to eliminate Missoula on Tuesday, while Lethbridge and Billings face off in loser-out action.

The winners Tuesday advance to championship Wednesday. If Missoula tags a loss on Bozeman Tuesday, the true championship game will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday between Bozeman and the winner of the early game. If Bozeman beats and eliminates Missoula, the winner between Lethbridge-Billings would have to beat Bozeman twice to win the chipper. 

The state champion advances to the Northwest Regional in Lewiston, Idaho. The winner of the regional advances to the World Series in Shelby, N.C.

July 28: Royals knock off No. 1 Missoula, No. 2 Bozeman advances

BILLINGS--The defending state champion Royals knocked off top-seeded Missoula, and No. 2 Bozeman beat Helena, on Sunday, July 28, in Dehler Stadium to advance to the undefeated semifinal of the Class AA MAALB State Tournament.

The No. 5 Royals beat Missoula, 3-1. Bozeman beat Helena, 8-2. They will play Monday at 7 p.m. with a berth into the state championship game on the line.

The Billings Scarlets and Lethbridge survived loser-out games to advance to Monday's action. No. 4 Lethbridge will play No. 6 Helena. The No. 6 Scarlets will play No. 1 Missoula.

Tuesday's pairings and game times can not be announced until after the undefeated semifinal game. With the top four teams left, previous opponents should not be matched up. If that can't be avoided, the most-recent matchup should be avoided. The winner of the undefeated semifinal gets the 7 p.m. game.

July 27: Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Billings Royals win in opening round

BILLINGS--The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds, Missoula and Bozeman, won their opening round games at the 2019 Class AA Montana-Alberta American Legion Baseball State Tournament on Saturday, July 27, at Dehler Stadium.

No. 6 Helena and the No. 5 Billings Royals also won their opening games.

July 22: The final day of conference regular season

The Billings Royals swept Great Falls in a doubleheader to move up to No. 5, the Bozeman Bucks beat the Billings Scarlets to forge a tie for No. 1, No. 4 Lethbridge beat No. 1 Missoula, and all of the pairings for day 1 of MAALB's Class AA State Tournament were set on Monday, July 22.

With Missoula and Bozeman finished in a first-place tie with 17-7 records, the tiebreaker was won by Missoula, which beat Bozeman, 2-1, during the conference regular season to claim the No. 1 seed. No. 1 Missoula will play No. 8 Great Falls on day 1. No. 2 Bozeman will play the No. 7 Billings Scarlets.

Kalispell and Lethbridge tied for the No. 3 seed with 14-10 records, but Kalispell swept the regular-season conference games to win the higher seed. No. 3 Kalispell will play No. 6 Helena. 

No. 4 Lethbridge will play the standings-jumping and state tournament host No. 5 Billings Royals. The defending state champs host the 7 p.m. game on Saturday, July 27.


*The Missoula Mavs beat the Bozeman Bucks, 2-1, in conference games to win the No. 1 seed; Bozeman is No. 2. 

*The Kalispell Lakers swept conference games against the Lethbridge Elks to win the No. 3 seed at the state tournament; Lethbridge is No. 4.

Standings updated with all games, as of July 22, 2019. Regular season comprised of 24 conference games. Top eight teams advance to state tournament in Billings, July 27-30. 

2018 Class AA Coach of the Year

Bryan Benjamin, Blgs Royals

2018 Class AA All-State Team

C Ben Tallman, Blgs Scarlets

1B Ty Penner, Lethbridge

2B Jayden Kay, Blgs Royals

3B Colin Sassano, Helena

SS Randy Stultz, Kalispell; Michael Freund, Bozeman

Utility IF Dylan Johnson, Blgs Royals

OF Wyatt Tomalty, Lethbridge; Matt Houlihan, Great Falls; Brooks Zimmer, Blgs Royals

P Adam Hubley, Bozeman; Matt Houlihan, Great Falls; Drew Scherrer, Kalispell; Sam Elliott, Kalispell; Brooks Zimmer, Blgs Royals; Tyler Frieders, Blgs Royals

2018 Class AA All-Conference Team

C Jarrett Leinwand, Blgs Royals; Ryan Moodry, Butte

1B Dawson Smith, Blgs Royals

2B Raleigh Ferby, Lethbridge

3B Torrin Vaselenak, Lethbridge

Utility IF Zander Petrich, Bozeman

OF Taylor Morton, Kalispell; Christian Michaelson, Blgs Scarlets; Jack Suhai, Medicine Hat; Payton Price, Bozeman

P Levi Abbot, Lethbridge; Cade Torgerson, Blgs Royals

Aug. 1: Leinwand hits walk-off single, Royals win state title

KALISPELL--It took 15 games, and it came down to a two-out, walk-off single for the Billings Royals to claim the 2018 Montana-Alberta American Legion Baseball Class AA state championship on Tuesday evening, Aug. 1 at Griffin Field. 

The Royals beat the Lethbridge Elks, 6-5, to claim Post 4's 29th state title in 90 years of MAALB.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Billings right fielder Jarrett Leinwand hit a single up the middle to plate the winning run.

The Royals' All-State Center fielder/pitcher Brooks Zimmer batted .529; and in two pitching appearances, had a 2.65 ERA over eight innings and earned two victories on the mound to claim the Tournament MVP award. The Royals' All-State second baseman Jayden Kay hit over .471 with two doubles, two triples, and a home run with eight RBIs to earn the Tournament Batting Champ award.

Records current through all games of July 22. Regular Season complete. 

** Kalispell earned the No. 2-seed tiebreaker over the Billings Royals, after identical 3-2 victories over each other, with 133 runs scored in the conference season over the Royals' 129.

**Missoula earned the No. 5 seed over Lethbridge with its final-day-of-the-season sweep, winning their regular season matchups, 2-1.

** Class AA teams play a 22-game conference schedule. Top 8 teams advance to the state tournament in Kalispell, starting Saturday, July 28.

July 22: Bozeman claims No. 1 seed, 2 tiebreakers come into play

MISSOULA--The defending state champion Missoula Mavericks swept Lethbridge on the final day of the Class AA regular season, and Great Falls won 2 of 3 games down the stretch to improve their seeds into the 2018 state tournament.

The state tournament starts Saturday, July 28, in Kalispell. No. 1 Bozeman plays No. 8 Great Falls at 10 a.m. No. 2 Kalispell plays Helena at 7 p.m. following the opening ceremonies. The No. 3 Billings Royals will play No. 6 Lethbridge at 4 p.m. The Nos. 4-5 game will be at 1 p.m. with Missoula and the Billings Scarlets.

Bozeman (16-6) locked in the No. 1 seed last week.

Kalispell and the Billings Royals (15-7) tied, and exchanged identical 3-2 victories over each other in their two-game regular season series. So the tiebreaker went down to runs scored in all games. Kalispell won that 133-129 for the No. 2 seed.

The Billings Scarlets were the only other team to finish above .500 with a 14-8 conference record to earn the No. 4 seed.

Missoula and Lethbridge each finished the conference season at .500 with 11-11 records.  The Mavs won their season series, 2-1, with a final-day-doubleheader sweep  over the Elks to earn the No. 4 seed.  


July 20: Tiebreakers coming into question

KALISPELL--One thing's for sure in Class AA MAALB this year: There's a lot of parity... especially if everybody's ace is pitching (like in the opening round of the state tourney).

With that being said, here are the MAALB tiebreaking rules. Quoted from the rule book:

"If two or more teams end the regular season with identical win/loss records for conference games, the team's eligibility for post season play shall be decided as follows:
a). The team winning the most of the conference games will advance.
b). If teams split the conference games, the total runs scored in all games by the teams shall decide the winner.
c). If both teams conference wins and total runs scored are identical. A flip of a coin will decide the eligibility of the two teams by the Chairman.
d). If three or more teams are tied, the best winning percentage against teams ending the season (tied or not) in positions 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 in the final conference standings will determine the highest seed with the other teams following in order based on highest to lowest winning percentage.

Heading into the final weekend of conference play, there are two teams with 13 wins (Nos. 2-3 Royals and Lakers), two with 10 wins (Nos. 4-5 Scarlets and Elks), and two with nine wins (Nos. 5-7 Mavs and Senators). Medicine Hat and Great Falls are each 8 games behind first place, fighting for the coveted No. 8 seed.

July 10: 8 games in 1 day shake up standings

BILLINGS--After having no games since July 3, Tuesday saw a lot of Class AA action and a shake up of the standings.

The Billings Royals swept Medicine Hat to improve to 12-5 on the season and take a half-game lead over Bozeman (11-5) for first place. Bozeman plays third-place Lethbridge (9-5) in a doubleheader on Wednesday.

The Kalispell Lakers swept the Billings Scarlets to improve to 8-6, good for fourth in the standings. The Scarlets dropped into a tie for fifth place with Missoula at 7-6. Missoula split a doubleheader with Butte (2-11). And Lethbridge split a doubleheader with Helena (7-9).

With less than two weeks left in the regular season, there is looking to be a fight for the No. 8-seed berth into the state tournament with three teams within 1 1/2 games of each other.

JULY 4: HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!! (Scarlets, Chargers grab wins)

BUTTE--The Billings Scarlets completed a 3-game sweep over the Butte Miners and the Great Falls Chargers swept a pair from the Helena Senators on Tuesday, July 3.

The victories improved the Scarlets to fourth place in the Montana-Alberta American Legion Baseball standings. The Chargers improved to 4-9, and are one game behind the Medicine Hat Moose for a berth into the Class AA State Tournament in Kalispell, starting July 28.

July 1: Scarlets, Elks raise eyebrows

BILLINGS--The Billings Scarlets corner infielder A Seward hit a two-run single in the second inning, and pitchers A Larson and D Johnson each helped their causes on the mound with two hits and an RBI apiece, Saturday, June 3, to help lift the underdog Scarlets over their crosstown rival Royals, 4-2.

The victory was the third straight for the Scarlets, who swept Missoula on June 27, to vault up to .500 on the season--and the fifth spot in the standings.

Bozeman (11-5) is in first place, a half game ahead of both the Lethbridge Elks (7-2), who swept Kalispell on June 24, and the Billings Royals (9-4). Missoula (6-5) is a game above .500 in fourth place.

June 18: An off day

Monday, June 18, proved to be an off day for Montana-Alberta Class AA American Legion Baseball. It was the only one in a string of 16 straight days.

In the span of four days, Bozeman won six conference games and tied the Billings Royals at 9-2 atop the standings, about halfway through their conference seasons. Kalispell is three games above .500 in third. Lethbridge is two games above .500 in fourth. Missoula is a game above .500 in fifth. They are all about one-third of the way through their conference seasons.

Rainouts across Montana have caused rescheduling. The Billings Royals, Billings Scarlets, Butte and Helena have all had to reschedule games. Check the schedule and results below on this page, or the game schedules tab (work in progress) above.

June 14: Bozeman, Med Hat trip up last of unbeatens

BOZEMAN--The Bozeman Bucks swept previously-unbeaten Kalispell Thursday, and Medicine Hat got its first win of the conference season over previously-unbeaten Lethbridge on Wednesday, to mix up the top of Montana-Alberta Class AA American Legion Baseball standings.

Bozeman (6-1) vaulted into No. 1 in the standings about one-third of the way through their conference schedule. The Billings Royals (9-2) sit No. 2 about halfway through their conference season. Lethbridge (4-1) and Kalispell (5-2) are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, about a quarter of the way through their conference seasons. Missoula (4-3) is a game above .500 in fifth.

June 9: Missoula, Bozeman hand Royals back-to-back, first 2 losses

BOZEMAN--Bozeman second baseman Michael Freund went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, and a stolen base, and pitcher Adam Hubley spread three hits and a walk over five innings while walking one, to help lead the Bucks to an 11-1 victory over the Billings Royals on Saturday, June 9.

Two days before on Thursday, Missoula pitcher Dylan Chalmers allowed just six hits and a walk over seven innings, and a Billings fielding error led to a decisive two-run sacrifice bunt play in the third inning, as Missoula beat the Royals, 4-2.

The losses were the Billings Royals' first two losses of the Montana-Alberta Class AA American Legion Baseball season. They did rebound by taking the second game of a doubleheader against Bozeman on Saturday to improve their conference record to 8-2.

The Kalispell Lakers have started the conference season with doubleheader sweeps over Missoula and Medicine Hat at home and are 4-0. Lethbridge is also unbeaten at 2-0. Bozeman is the only other team above .500 in the standings at 2-1.


D-Day, June 6: Billings Royals start season 7-0

MISSOULA -- Billings catcher J Leinwand went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs to help lead the Royals to a 14-3 victory over Missoula on Wednesday, June 6, to help improve the Royals to 7-0 in Montana-Alberta Class AA American Legion Baseball play.

While the Royals are one-third of the way through their confernce season, no other team has more than three conference games played so far (except Great Falls with five). Lethbridge swept Great Falls and Kalispell swept Missoula in doubleheaders this week to open their conference seasons at 2-0.

Leinwand is hitting .433 with 11 doubles, two home runs and 26 RBIs. The Royals are 20-1 overall on the season. Three of their starting pitchers are 5-0 with 32 innings pitched apiece. Zimmer has 47 strikeouts, Torgerson has 43 Ks, and Frieders has 34.

Top 8 teams advance to Class AA state tournament in Kalispell

Montana-Alberta Class AA American Legion Baseball teams will play a 22-game conference regular schedule. The top eight teams after the regular season will advance to the state tournament in Kalispell. Day 1 of the state tournament is Saturday, July 28.

MAALB teams will play their old Eastern AA/Western AA rivals three times while playing the other opponents just twice. The old alignment was Western AA: Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat; Eastern AA: Billings Royals, Billings Scarlets, Bozeman, Butte, and Helena.

New this year, all games at the national-qualifying (state) tournament will be seven-inning games.  Also new this year, the maximum pitch count per day is 105.

The MAALB state champion will qualify for the Northwest Regional Tournament in Missoula. If Missoula wins state, the state runner-up will qualify for the regional as well. The regional tournament champion will advance to the ALB World Series in Shelby, N.C.



Day 5: Championship Sunday

Game 15 (Championship)

No. 3 Missoula 4, No. 1 Bozeman 3

Game story will be updated at a later date

Game 15 box score

Game 14 (Loser-out Semifinal)

No. 1 Bozeman 10, No. 2 Billings Royals 8

Game story will be updated at a later date

Game 14 box score

Day 4: Royals, Bucks to square off for right to face Mavs in title tilt

 Click here for Pitch Smart Initiative: Tournament Pitch Count Data after day 4

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Game 13

No. 2 Billings Royals 12, No. 3 Missoula 3

Billings pitcher Cameron Maciel struck out 10 in eight innings, designated hitter Sam Evenson went 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs, and catcher Jarrett Leinwand went 3-for-4 and scored four runs to help lead the Royals in handing Missoula its first loss of the tourney.

The Royals (31-12) advance to play Bozeman (50-24) Sunday at 11 a.m. The winner of that game will face Missoula (51-25) about 45 minutes later for the state championship.

Missoula jumped out on top with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the Royals responded with three runs in the second and never looked back.

Missoula jumped out on top with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the Royals responded with three runs in the second and never looked back. They added another two in the third and four in the fifth and the game was nearly shortened by the mercy rule before Missoula scored one in the bottom of the eighth.

First baseman Dawson Smith and right fielder Brooks Zimmer each had two hits and two RBIs in the victory. Tyler Frieders went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Third baseman Pearce Kurth went 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.

The Royals out-hit Missoula by just two, 15-13.

The Mavs’ leadoff hitter James Martin went 4-for-5 and No. 3 hitter Dane Fraser went 3-for-4. Missoula stranded 11 base runners; and the Royals stranded seven.

Game 13 box score

Game 12 (loser-out)

No. 1 Bozeman 15, No. 4 Helena 5 (7 innings)

Third baseman Ryan Evenson went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, catcher Jake Murfitt went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and second baseman Jake Buck went 3-for-4 and scored three runs to help lead Bozeman in eliminating Helena in a game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.

The victory advanced the Bucks (50-14) to the final day of the tourney, where they awaited the outcome of Saturday night’s game between Missoula and the Billings Royals to find out Sunday’s opponent, game time, and whether or not they clinched a berth into the Northwestern Regional Tournament in Missoula next week. If Missoula eliminates the Royals, the Bucks are advancing to regionals no matter what—because Missoula earns an automatic berth for hosting.

Trailing 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning, the Bucks scored four runs to take a 6-3 lead and never looked back. Center fielder Bailey Paddock highlighted the inning with a one-out, two-run single to break a 3-3 tie.Tyler Dobie hit an RBI single to tie the game before that. Murfitt added a two-out RBI single to put the game at 6-3.

The Bucks added two in the fifth to go up 8-3 before putting up seven in the seventh. They out-hit the Senators, 15-5. No Senator had more than one hit.

Andrew Purpura started on the mound for the Bucks and allowed five hits and three walks while striking out four. None of the five runs he allowed were earned.

Helena’s season ended with a 32-25 record.

Game 12 box score

Day 3: Missoula beats Helena in dramatic fashion, earns berth in title game

Click here for Pitch Smart Initiative: Tournament Pitch Count Data after day 3

Friday, July 28, 2017

Game 11 (undefeated semifinal)

No. 3 Missoula 6, No. 4 Helena 4

Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Missoula No. 8 hitter Brendan Buchanan launched a full-count pitch into an RBI triple, then Clayton Franke executed a suicide squeeze for an insurance run, to help lift the Mavs into the State AA Championship Game on Sunday.

The Mavs will try to eliminate the Billings Royals Saturday at 7 p.m. If successful, they will face the winner of the Saturday loser-out game between No. 1 Bozeman and No. 4 Helena, Sunday at 11 a.m. in the chipper. If the Royals survive Saturday against the Mavs, Missoula will play for the title Sunday after the 11 a.m. game between Saturday’s winners.

Trailing 4-3 in the top of the eighth inning, Helena tied the game when shortstop Kienan Stief hit an RBI single to score second baseman Colin Sassano, who hit a one-out double.

Missoula took a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning when second baseman James Martin hit a shallow sacrifice fly ball to center field that scored Buchanan, who doubled. On a close play at the plate, the Helena catcher dropped the throw that allowed the run.

The Senators tied the game, 3-3, in the fifth inning when right fielder Ryan Arntson hit a two-out RBI single that plated Payton Pappas, who singled.

Missoula broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning when center fielder Nick Yovetich beat out a double play, which scored Buchanan.

The game saw three ties and a lead change in the first five innings, and in the sixth inning the teams were knotted up in runs-hits-errors on the scoreboard 3-7-2.

Buchanan went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple and two RBIs and three runs scored to help lead the Mavs on offense. Ryan McHugh started on the mound and spread nine hits and four walks over seven innings. He allowed only two earned runs and had four strikeouts. Ricky Stevens relieved him in the eighth and allowed three hits, a walk and a run, but ended up getting the victory.

Helena actually ended up out-hitting Missoula, 12-10. Sassano, Stief, and Jackson Maynard each had two hits in the loss. Arnston had two RBIs and a stolen base.

Game 11 box score

Game 10 (loser-out)

No. 2 Billings Royals 11, No. 8 Billings Scarlets 4

Nos. 3, 4, and 5 hitters Jake Orvis, Jarrett Leinwand, and Pearce Kurth combined for nine hits and seven RBIs to help lead the Royals in ending their cross-town rival’s season.

The Royals scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. They expanded a 4-2 lead with a run in the sixth and four more in the seventh to take command. They will face No. 3 Helena on Saturday at a time to be determined by the outcome of Friday night’s Game 11 undefeated semifinal.

Royals starting pitcher Cade Torgerson spread 11 hits and four hits over 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out five to earn the victory on the mound.

Leinwand went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Kurth went 2-for-4 with a double (his fourth of the tourney to get with a homer) and three RBIs. Orvis went 4-for-5 with an RBI and stolen base. No. 6 hitter Sam Evenson had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs. No. 7 hitter Cameron Maciel also added two hits. Each of the Royals’ first five hitters scored twice as the Royals out-hit the Scarlets, 16-13.

For the Scarlets, Ben Tallman and Clay Cebull each went 3-for-5. Brayden Huppert and Dylan Johnson each had two hits, including a double in the loss.

Game 10 box score

Game 9 (loser-out)

No. 1 Bozeman 7, No. 7 Lethbridge 4

Bozeman pitcher Morgan Hostetler pulled 3-1 fastball over the right field wall for a grand slam in the first inning and struck out five in seven innings to help lead the Bucks in eliminating Lethbridge.

The victory assured Bozeman of a top four finish at the tournament. Their opponent and game time on Saturday will be determined based on the outcome of the other two games on Friday.

Lethbridge took an early lead before the grand slam, and got to within 5-3 after three innings and 6-4 in the eighth.

Hostetler allowed nine hits and four walks. Michael Freund relieved him in a jam and pitched to the minimum six batters to earn the save in front of his brother Pat, who had just arrived to the ball park after being deployed in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. He also added a home run in the eighth innings as well in front of his brother.

Bozeman leadoff-hitting left fielder Tyler Dobie and No. 3-hitting second baseman Andrew Purpura were the only Bucks with two hits as they out-hit Lethbridge only 11-9. Dobie had a triple and Purpura also had a stolen base.

Liam Leech and Lukas Ankermann each had two hits in the loss.

Game 9 box score

Day 2: Helena and Missoula advance to undefeated semifinal

Click here for Pitch Smart Initiative: Tournament Pitch Count Data after day 2

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Game 8

No. 4 Helena 7, No. 8 Scarlets 4

With the score knotted up at 3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Helena’s No. 2-hitting shortstop Kienan Stief hit a 3-2 pitch into left field for a two-run single and the Senators advanced to the undefeated semifinal.

Helena actually broke the tie a pitch before Stief’s hit on a bases-loaded balk, but the shortstop made it a legitimate victory with his fourth hit of the game.

The Senators will play Missoula Friday at 7 p.m. for a berth into the state championship game.

Billings’s Clay Cebull and Helena’s Tanner McMahon were locked in a pitchers’ duel after relieving their teams’ starters in the third inning. McMahon picked up the victory on the mound, by spreading four hits and two walks over the final 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three. Starter Taylor Carlson was knock out of the game when a line drive ricocheted off his pitching wrist in the third.

No. 3 hitter Ray Moore was the only other Senator with more than one hit as Helena out-hit the Scarlets, 11-9. Leadoff hitter Colin Sassano had two RBIs and Moore had one in the victory.

Dylan Johnson and Payton Stovall each had two hits in the loss. Stovall and Cebull each had a double. Ceball, Johnson, Cole Kramer and Ben Tallman each had an RBI.

Game 8 box score

Game 7

No. 3 Missoula 16, No. 7 Lethbridge 1 (8 innings)

Missoula pitcher Dylan Chalmers allowed just six hits and a walk, while striking out five, in earning the complete-game victory, which was shortened to eight innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The Mavs scored three runs in the top of the first inning and held just a 4-1 until the seventh inning. Then they plated six runs apiece in the seventh and eighth innings.

The victory advances Missoula (50-24) to the undefeated semifinal Friday at 7 pm. against the winner of Game 8. Lethbridge (20-21) falls to loser-out action against Bozeman Friday at noon.

Missoula catcher Spencer Schock went 3-for-4 with five RBIs, including a two-run home run in the eighth inning. Center fielder Nick Yovetich went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a double and three-run opposite-field homer in the eighth as well. Shortstop Brenden Buchanan had three hits, including a double. Dane Fraser and Drew Leonard added two hits apiece as Missoula out-hit Lethbridge 16-6. One of Leonard’s hits was a triple to the right field wall.

Lethbridge’s Nos. 2 and 3 hitters Wyatt Tomalty and Raleigh Ferby had two hits apiece in the loss. Tomalty had a triple and stolen base.

Game 6 box score

Game 5 (loser-out)

No. 3 Billings Royals 4, No. 6 Great Falls 1

Billings Royals No. 5-hitting third baseman Pearce Kurth hit the first home run of the tournament to lead off the sixth inning and break a 1-1 tie, and it proved to be the game winner as pitchers Brooks Zimmer and Cameron Maciel combined to pitch a four-hitter.

Kurth, who hit three doubles in the opening round but never scored, took matters into his own hands by launching a 1-1 pitch down the left field line and over the wall. Maciel hit a double off the wall near the same spot two batters later, and Atticus Bryan knocked him in with an RBI single into right field. The Royals also added a run on an error in the inning to plate three runs and put the score at its final margin.

Zimmer started on the mound and spread three hits and five walks over six innings while striking out five. He allowed just one run in the second inning, after Great Falls center fielder Bryce Krattiger led off with a triple, with the run was unearned as he got an infield ground ball then struck out the next two. Maciel relieved Zimmer to start the seventh and allowed just one hit the rest of the way while striking out two to earn the save.

Bryan went 3-for-4 and Maciel added two hits as the Royals knocked out nine hits total.

The Royals (29-23) advance to play the loser of Game 8 between the Billings Scarlets and Helena, Friday at 3 p.m.

Great Falls No. 2-hitting first baseman Daniel Bonilla had two of the Chargers’ four hits. Derick Spring started on the mound, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings of work. Only two of the four runs he allowed were recorded as earned.

Game 5 box score

Game 6 (loser-out)

No. 1 Bozeman 14, No. 5 Kalispell 4 (8 innings)

Pitcher Adam Hubley allowed six hits and two walks while striking out eight, and batted in two runs, to earn the complete-game victory, which was shortened by the mercy rule.

Trailing 3-0 after Kalispell scored three runs in the first inning, Bozeman plated nine runs in the third to take command and never looked back.

Bozeman (48-14) advances to play the loser of Game 7 between Missoula and Lethbridge, Friday at noon.

The Bucks out-hit the Lakers, 15-6, and had six stolen bases; and the Lakers committed six errors.

Bozeman center fielder Bailey Paddock and catcher Jake Murfitt each went 3-for-5 and scored three runs in the victory. Paddock also had two stolen bases. Murfitt also had two RBIs, as did Andrew Purpura. Tyler Dobie, Ryan Evenson, and Purpura each had two hits.

Murfitt highlighted the nine-run third inning with a two-run single that broke a 3-3 tie. The Bucks sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning and collected seven hits.

Kalispell’s Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Patrick O’Connell and Hayden Schlepp each went 2-for-4 in the loss. Schlepp and Dawson Smith each had an RBI.

Game 6 box score

Day 1: Nos. 7 and 8 seeds pull opening-round upsets

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Game 1

No. 3 Missoula 6, No. 6 Great Falls 2

Missoula catcher Spencer Schock and right fielder Drew Leonard each went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI and pitcher Dyan Barkley struck out 10 batters over eight innings to help lead the Mavs to the opening-round victory.

Leonard drove in the first run of the game in the second inning with an infield ground ball, and Clayton Franke followed with the same thing to put the Mavs up 2-0 and they never looked back. Schock added an RBI double in the third inning to put the score at 3-0. Dane Fraser and Ryan McHugh highlighted a two-run fifth inning with an RBI single and suicide bunt, respectively, to put the Mavs up 5-0. James Martin capped the Mavs scoring with an RBI triple in the sixth.

Barkley spread seven hits and a walk over eight innings, allowing two earned runs, to earn the victory on the mound.

Missoula (49-24) advances to play the winner of Game 3, Thursday at 4 p.m.

Great Falls leadoff hitter Wyatt Bleskin and No. 9 hitter Derick Spring each had two hits to pace the Chargers. No. 2 hitter Keelan Hayworth hit a two-run double in the sixth inning.

Great Falls pitcher Tyler Strickland allowed 10 hits with no walks. Only three of the runs Missoula scored were earned as the Chargers defense committed two costly errors early.

Great Falls swept the regular-season meetings, 7-6 and 3-1 in 11 innings, on July 20-21. The Chargers drop to the loser’s bracket to play the loser of Game 3, Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Game 1 box score

Game 2

No. 4 Helena 7, No. 5 Kalispell 3

Helena pitcher Keaton Ralston spread five hits and three walks over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, while designated hitter Andrew Rosston and center fielder Eamon Byrne each drove in two runs, to help lead the Senators to an opening-round victory.

Ahead 3-0 in the sixth inning, Helena scored three runs to take command of the game. They were ahead 7-0 heading into the ninth inning.

Ralston struck out eight en route to the victory on the mound.

Rosston, Helena’s No. 6 hitter, opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-out, two-run single into left field. Byrne highlighted the three-run sixth with another two-out, two-run single.

Helena second baseman and No. 2 hitter Colin Sassano and No. 7 hitting catcher Carter Pappas each had three hits and an RBI. Keinan Stief and Payton Pappas each had two hits in the victory.

Helena (31-23) advances to play the winner of Game 4, Thursday at 7 p.m. Kalispell (30-17) falls into the loser’s bracket to play the loser of Game 4, Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The teams split their regular-season meetings with Helena winning, 4-3, and Kalispell winning, 9-3, on June 27.

Kalispell’s Nos. 1, 2, and 3 hitters—Jonas Nyman, Eric Seaman, and Patrick O’Connell—each had two hits in the loss. Nyman batted in the Lakers’ first two runs in the bottom on the ninth.

Kalispell’s starting pitcher Sam Elliott allowed just two earned runs as the Lakers committed costly errors on defense. He allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out four over seven innings.

Game 2 box score

Game 3

No. 7 Lethbridge 10, No. 3 Billings Royals 9

Tied 9-9 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Lethbridge No. 7 hitter Zach Goruk hit a 2-2 pitch into left field for the game-winning RBI single, and relief pitcher Torrin Vaselenak stranded runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, to help lift the Elks to the first-round upset.

Fans witnessed four ties, four lead changes, 31 total hits, and 22 runners left on base.

Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the bottom of the fifth inning, Lethbridge plated seven runs to take a 9-4 lead. But the Royals answered right back with a five-run sixth to tie the game, which set up Goruk’s eventual game-winner in the seventh.

­Lethbridge leadoff hitter Liam Leech went 4-for-5 with two stolen bases, while cleanup hitter Vaselenak and Goruk each went 3-for-5, in the victory. Goruk also had two doubles; Vaselenak also had two stolen bases. Raleigh Ferby, Ty Penner, and Lukas Ankerman each had two RBIs.

Vaselenak picked up the victory on the mound in relief of starter Kale Penner. Vaselenak pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out three.

Lethbridge (20-20) advances to play Missoula Thursday at 4 p.m.

The Royals out-hit the Elks, 16-15, in the loss. No. 3 hitter Jake Orvis and No. 7 hitter Pearce Kurth each went 3-for-5 in the loss. Orvis also had three stolen bases. Kurth had three doubles, but never scored. Cleanup hitter Jarret Leinwand had two hits and two RBIs.

The Royals (28-23) will play Great Falls Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in loser-out action.

Game 3 box score

Game 4

No. 8 Billings Scarlets 11, No. 1 Bozeman 5

Trailing 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning, the bottom-seeded Scarlets scored six runs to take a commanding lead and held on for the upset to the disappointment of a huge hometown Bozeman crowd.

With one out and the bases loaded, Payton Stovall, Ben Tallman, and Christian Michaelson hit three straight RBI singles into left field, then Dylan Johnson followed them up by hammering an 0-2 pitch into left field for a three-run double and an 8-3 lead.

Bozeman got to within 8-4 with a run in the seventh, but the Scarlets plated three runs in the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach.

Johnson and Cole Kramer each went 3-for-4. All three of Johnson’s hits were doubles; Kramer had two doubles. Taylor Musgrave also added three RBIs in the victory as Billings out-hit Bozeman, 16-11.

The Scarlets advance to play Helena Thursday at 7 p.m. Bozeman will play Kalispell in loser-out action Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Tyler Dobie, Adam Hubley, Jake Buck, and Michael Freund each had two hits in the loss to pace Bozeman.

Game 4 box score



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