Reps take third place at Cloninger Classic

By Curt Synness, Helena IR | Photo by James Ridle, Blackfoot Media Group |

The Helena Reps, sparked by two come from behind victories on Saturday, placed third in the Cloninger Classic Legion A Tournament with a 9-3 victory over Mission Valley on Sunday.

Helena posted a 4-1 record in the 4-day tourney at Kindrick Legion Field while improving to 18-8 on the season.

“It was a good solid tournament, we had quality contribution from everyone on the roster this weekend,” Reps coach Jon Burnett said. “We showed a lot of heart and played some baseball.”

Eammon Byrne and Seth Schneider spearheaded the offense against the Mariners, with three runs batted in each. Byrne (double), Colin Sassano (double, RBI), Ray Moore, Carter Wald, and Schneider (double) all stroked two hits apiece.

Caleb Jackson started on the hill for the Reps, and pitched three innings of 1-hit ball, allowing one run while striking out four. Tristan Siegers (2 innings) and Tanner McMahon (2) relieved the rest of the way, collaborating with Jackson on a 4-hitter.

Kade Schutzmann took the loss for Mission.

The “heart” coach Burnett referred to included Helena’s pair of comebacks on Saturday, getting down to the Lethbridge Giants 6-2 and winning 13-9, before overcoming a 12-5 deficit against Laurel (eventual tourney champions) with an 8-run fifth inning for a 13-12 triumph. The Dodgers were last year’s state runners-up.

“We’ve been a pretty slow-starting team lately so I just told the guys to keep the energy up and keep chipping away — to answer whenever the other team scored and chip away at the lead,” the Reps skipper related.