MISSOULA — For the second day in a row, the Missoula Mavericks and Billings Royals appeared headed for a split in their American Legion baseball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Lindborg-Cregg Field.
That was before Nick Eliason's heroics.
The Royals center fielder laced an RBI double in the sixth inning of the second game that propelled his team to a 4-3 win. That came on the heels of a high-scoring first game in which Billings outlasted Missoula, 13-12, for its fourth win in five games.
Missoula (13-12) fought from behind twice in the second game before Eliason's fateful one-out double in the sixth. Noah Aufdengarten started the rally by drawing a one-out walk before Eliason stepped to the plate.
Chase Hinckley picked up the complete-game win on the mound, allowing just three earned runs on five hits with eight strikeouts. Jaeden Jordahl collected a team-high two hits and teammate Aiden Montez had a home run. Missoula's Sky Palmer collected a game-high three hits, including a double.
In the first game, Billings (7-8) rallied from a 12-7 deficit with six runs in the top of the seventh inning. Eliason collected a game-high four hits and three RBIs.
The Royals used four pitchers in the game. Eliason had the most success, coming on in the bottom of the seventh to hold the Mavs scoreless.
Ayden Markovich and Drew Stensrud each had three hits for the hosts, who will play in a tournament in Rapid City, S.D., starting Tuesday.