Hometown Billings squads thrive in Day #2 action at 'AA' state tournament
Royals down Mavs, Scarlets edge Lakers
Royals def Mavericks 6-3
The Royals led 3-0 after two innings of play and never looked back as they dispensed of Missoula 6-3 in day two action of the 'AA' state tournament in Billings on Thursday.
Billings added three more runs in the 8th inning to take a 6-0 advantage. The Mavericks responded with a run in the bottom of the 8th and two more in the 9th but it was too little too late for Missoula.
Tanner Leenknecht went the distance on the mound for the Royals, surrendering just two earned runs on eight hits in his nine innings of work.
Anthony Contonio went eight innings as Missoula's starters. Only three of the six runs Contonio gave up were earned.
The Mavericks outhit Billings 8-5 but fell victim to five defensive errors. Alec Bouchee led the Missoula bats going 3-4 with an RBI double.
The 2-seed Mavericks will battle the 1-seed Scarlets in loser out action at 1:00 Friday in the Magic City.
Scarlets def Lakers 4-3
A 9th inning Laker rally came up one run short for the second straight day. The tying run was tagged out in the 9th inning as Kalispell was dismissed from the tournament with a 4-3 loss to the top seeded Billings Scarlets.
Scarlets ace Gage Hinsz baffled the Laker lineup out of the gate. Hinsz went five innings for Billings giving up just three hits while striking out 11 batters.
The Lakers entered the top-9th inning facing a 4-1 deficit. But five batters later Kalispell had the stage set for heart-breaking finish. With the bases loaded and nobody out Robert Reaser hit a deep fly to the right center gap that fell for extra bases. The first two runs scored easily but with Dillon Matteson trying to score from first there was a play at the plate.
Matteson slid by the catcher but as the backstop swept his glove behind him and towards the plate the umpire ruled the tag was made before the plate was touched. Game Over.
Kalispell ace Dillon Eaves was pegged with the loss after pitching the first seven frames. Eaves gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out ten Scarlets. Eaves also picked up three of the Lakers' six hits to lead Kalispell offensively.
The Lakers are eliminated from the tournament while the Scarlets will battle Missoula tomorrow.