MavericksBaseball01 (copy)

Missoula's Brendon Hill sprints toward third base during a game last season at Lindborg-Cregg Field.

MISSOULA — In the end, it was the threat of rain that kept the Missoula Mavericks and Helena Senators from restarting baseball Wednesday night amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The first game of the American Legion baseball season in the state of Montana has been pushed back to Thursday, Mavs manager Brent Hathaway told after consulting with Senators manager Jon Burnett. The game is now scheduled to be played at 7 p.m. Thursday in Helena at Kindrick Legion Field.

"Field is wet but playable," Hathaway said. "Forecast calls for rain this evening. Better forecast tomorrow. Pray they'll get the tarp down tonight."

When games resume, the teams playing will be under the umbrella of the Department of Montana American Legion, meaning their American Legion logos won't have to be covered up, reported Tuesday night.

Live sports had been shut down across the state since the middle of March, but Gov. Bullock announced Tuesday that the state would be heading into Phase 2 of its staggered reopening plan June 1.

Although the state's not yet in Phase 2, sporting events in Lewis and Clark County were approved by county's health board. Lake County, Yellowstone County, Ravalli County and Gallatin County also received approval as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Mavs had their previous proposal to play home games denied by Missoula County before the announcement about the upcoming transition to Phase 2. They're scheduled to host a 10-team, 22-game Memorial Day tournament starting Friday, pending approval.

"Not feeling very confident on that approval," Hathaway said.

Frank Gogola covers Griz football and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter @FrankGogola or email him at

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