MILES CITY — Behind Garrick Richardson's bat and Hunter Omlid's pitching arm, the Bitterroot Red Sox remained in the running for a fourth consecutive State A American League baseball championship on Thursday night.
Richardson belted a grand-slam home run and Omlid tossed six innings of one-hit ball as the Red Sox blanked the Belgrade Bandits 11-0 to move into Friday's undefeated semifinal game at the state tournament.
Bitterroot will be matched up against the Glacier Twins, who advanced earlier in the day by defeating the Gallatin Valley Outlaws 5-3.
The undefeated semifinal showdown is set for 7 p.m.
Richardson finished with five RBIs against Belgrade, while Omlid struck out nine and walked one.
A big third inning propelled the Laurel Dodgers, while Miles City held off a late Lewistown rally in early loser-out games.
Laurel will play Belgrade at 4 p.m. on Friday. Miles City plays Gallatin Valley at 1 p.m. on Friday in another elimination game.
Laurel 14, Tri-County 3
The Dodgers stroked 11 hits en route to a 14-3 victory over the Cardinals in loser-out play.
Laurel scored four runs in the bottom of the second and eight in the bottom of the third for a 12-3 lead.
Singles by Deklan Harper, Chase Feller, Carson West and Cash Golden were instrumental in the eight-run outburst.
Golden finished 3 for 3, including two doubles, with two runs scored and three RBIs. Harper, Keagan Campbell and Noah Gunther all had two hits for Laurel. Harper, Feller and West all drove in two runs.
Cameron Schriver pitched the full five innings to earn the win. He gave up six hits, three earned runs and three walks, while fanning nine.
The Cardinals used five pitchers in the game. Jette Pruttis batted 3 for 3 with two RBIs for Tri-County.
Miles City 6, Lewistown 5
Kayden Hager hit a two-run single and Jess Bellows chipped in with a run-scoring base hit as Miles City scored three runs in the fourth to break a tie and go on to post a 6-5 loser-out win.
Bellows finished 3 for 5, including a double, with a run scored. Hager and Kip Krebsbach both drove in two runs for the Mavericks.
Cody Henderson led the Redbirds, with a 4 for 5 performance. He scored once and drove in a run.
Jared Bellows was the winning pitcher. Bellows pitched 5.1 innings and allowed seven hits and five runs, two of them earned. He struck out four and walked one.
With the aid of an error and catcher's interference, Lewistown scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth. A pop out with the bases juiced ended the threat.
Glacier 5, Gallatin Valley 3
The Glacier Twins rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Gallatin Valley Outlaws 5-3 in an extra-inning thriller to move on to the undefeated semifinal game.
Both starting pitchers remained sharp deep into the game. Coby Clark-Dickinson went seven innings, striking out five and allowing just two runs. Gallatin Valley's Michael Jones matched Clark-Dickinson, recording six strikeouts and allowing two runs in seven innings of work.
Thomas Hellwig, Forrest Kobelt and Ryan Veneman each had an RBI in the win for the Twins.
Bitterroot 11, Belgrade 0
The Bitterroot Red Sox fired on all cylinders in a 11-0 rout of the Belgrade Bandits to move on to the semifinals.
The Red Sox struck quickly, scoring two runs in the first inning, but remained quiet until the fifth and sixth innings when they scored a combined nine runs to end the game due to the mercy rule.
Richardson had a huge day from the plate, going to 2-for-5 with 5 RBIs, two runs and a grand slam.
Red Sox pitcher Hunter Omlid struck out nine, while allowing only one hit in six innings.
Colton Charnholm struck out seven batters in the loss for the Bandits.
Seth Green provided the lone hit for Belgrade.