HELENA — A Victor Scott bunt broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning and Trysten Mooney gave the Helena Senators a three-run cushion with a double two batters later in a 6-3 win over the Kalispell Lakers on Monday. Helena could not complete the sweep of Kalispell, falling 2-1 in the late-afternoon game.
It was the Senators’ third-straight road victory against the Lakers in two days, and oddly enough, their third consecutive game scoring six runs.
Tyler Tenney got Helena on the board with a run-scoring double in the third inning, but Kalispell responded with a tally in the home half of the frame. A two-RBI single from Scott in the seventh inning, however, gave the Senators five runs in the game’s last three innings to help seal the win.
Scott notched a 1-for-4 game at the plate, but came through with three RBI while Tenney and Ethan Keintz each picked up three hits just ahead of him in the lineup. Mooney and Matt Burton also added two hits apiece and Helena banged out 11 as a team.
That offensive showing was more than enough for Keintz on the mound. Save for three-straight hits and a run in the third inning, the right-hander was unhittable for the Senators over six innings of work. He poured in nearly 64 percent of his pitches for strikes and let his defense work behind him with just one strikeout.
Gage Brink chipped in two hits for the Lakers as the top-four in their lineup accounted for all five of the team’s hits in Monday’s first game. Joseph Schlegel gave up 11 hits and six earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched for Kalispell.
Game No. 2
Eamon Burke took a no-hitter into the fourth inning for Helena, but Kalispell’s two-run fifth proved too much for the Senators in a 2-1 loss to end the four-game set.
Even with the loss, Helena took three of four games from the Lakers over the last two days and will return home 45-16 overall and 14-8 in conference play. Helena entered Monday tied with the Missoula Mavericks for second place in the legion standings while Kalispell began play in fourth. The Lakers now sit at 11-9 in league contests.
Grady Drish’s sacrifice fly opened the scoring for Kalispell in the fifth inning and Carver Van Aken followed with an RBI single to put the home team up 2-0.
Forrest Suero led the seventh inning off with a single for the Senators, but was doubled off on a line drive. Despite a two-out single and walk, Helena could not complete the comeback on Monday afternoon.
Kalispell collected just three hits in the win but Kostya Hoffman tossed seven innings of one-run baseball and needed just 91 pitches to do so. Hoffman went first-pitch strike to 20 of the 30 batters he faced and induced eight groundouts and eight fly outs while firing 63.7 percent strikes.
Burke was equally as solid for Helena, allowing just three hits and two earned runs over six innings while striking out three and walking four.
Eight different Senators notched a hit in Monday’s second game with Mooney picking up their lone RBI. Suero went 2-for-3 at the dish.
The Senators will now get three days off before wrapping up their conference slate at home against Missoula on Friday. First pitches are scheduled for 5 and 7:30 p.m.