BOZEMAN — The Billings Royals lived to fight another day after taking down the Great Falls Chargers 4-1 in a Class AA American Legion state tournament loser-out game on Thursday at Heroes Park.

Pearce Kurth hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie to sparked a three-run sixth inning for the Royals, which sealed the win.

Connor Polkowske and Atticus Bryan also knocked in one run apiece. Bryan finished the game batting 3 for 4.

Brooks Zimmer took the mound for the Royals, pitching six full innings and allowing two hits and one run while walking five and striking out five. Cameron Maciel pitched the final three innings, allowing only one hit and striking out two. Maciel also batted 2 for 4 for the Royals.

The Royals, who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, were coming off of a 10-9 upset loss at the hands of No. 7 Lethbridge. The Royals will take on the rival Billings Scarlets on Friday, who lost to the Helena Senators 7-4.

The Scarlets and Senators were tied 4-4 in the eighth inning before a two-run single from Kienan Steif gave the Senators the lead and ultimately the win.

The Scarlets and Royals will meet for the sixth time this year, with the Royals having won four of the previous five meetings. First pitch of the loser-out game is set for  3:30 p.m.

After the Royals eliminated the Chargers, the top-seeded Bozeman Bucks also stayed alive with a 14-4 win over the Kalispell Lakers in a loser-out game. Kalispell opened that game with a 3-0 lead but a nine-run third inning helped blow the Bucks past the Lakers. 

Adam Hubley pitched a complete game for the Bucks who won in eight innings. The Bucks were upset by the Scarlets to open the tournament and will next face Lethbridge at noon on Friday in a loser-out game. The Elks were defeated 16-1 by Missoula in eight innings.

Missoula will meet Helena in the undefeated game at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Prep sports reporter at the Billings Gazette

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