Coby Richards batted in five runners on four hits and the Belgrade Bandits rode an eight-run second inning to a runaway 15-2 win over over the Gallatin Valley Outlaws at the Southern A District Tournament in Three Forks on Saturday to advance to the district championship.
With the win, the Bandits became the first team at the tournament to punch its ticket to the state tournament which begins on Thursday in Lewistown. Belgrade's title game opponent will be decided in a 10 a.m. loser out game on Sunday. The championship is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.
The Bandits led 1-0 after one inning before exploding for eight runs in the second inning. An additional six runs in the fourth inning sealed the run-rule victory for Belgrade.
Richards earned the win, pitching all five inning and surrendering sevent hits while striking out two. He also had a triple for the Bandits. Keaton Carter had three RBIs and Lane Neill had two.
The Outlaws, who can setup a rematch against Belgrade in the title game on Sunday with a win in the morning loser-out game, were paced by two RBIs from Bo Hays.
HELENA 10, BUTTE 0
Tyler Cutler went the distance, pitching all seven innings and surrendering four hits and no runs as the Reps defeated the Miners to end Butte's season.
The Reps will face Gallatin Valley at 10 a.m. on Sunday with the winner advancing to face Belgrade in the district title game and the loser's season coming to a close.
Helena built a 2-0 lead after the first inning and led 5-0 heading into the seventh where the Reps scored five runs to take a double digit lead and extinguish any comeback bid.
Greyson Ahmann had a game-high two RBIs and a double. Quinn Belcher, Hunter Bratcher, Judson Seliskar and Will Brent also had RBIs for Helena.
Kenley Leary led Butte with two hits. The Miners conclude the season at 28-16 overall.
LOSER OUT GAMES
BUTTE 3, DILLON 1
Ryan Wahl hit a go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the fifth inning and struck out seven as the Miners slipped past the Beavers to end Dillon's season.
Wahl went the distance, allowing one run on three hits and walking four.
Reece Cox and Zach Tierney also had RBIs for Butte. Cox also had a double. Kale Konen had Dillon's lone RBI and Jace Fitzgerald had a double while striking out four form the plate.
HELENA 6, BOZEMAN 3
Daniel Beers batted in two runners and the Reps overcame a three-run deficit in the seventh inning to keep their season alive and send the Bucks A team home.
Bozeman led 3-0 heading into the seventh inning before Helena's offense ignited for six runs powered by two RBIs from Hunter Bratcher and single RBIs from Eric Cockhill, Tycen Mooney, Cade Coate and Will Lyng.
Bozeman was led by two RBIs from Daniel Beers and a single RBI from Gannon McGarrah.