After squandering a nine-run lead in a marathon loss to Great Falls on Monday night, the Helena Senators bounced back with a vengeance on Tuesday, dispatching the Chargers with an 11-4 victory.
And they did it in a hurry. The Class AA Legion conference game at Kindrick Legion Field lasted just 1 hour, 59 minutes — quite a bit shorter than Monday’s 14-13 Great Falls win.
The home team led all the way, scoring two runs in the opening inning, four in the second, three in the sixth and two markers in the eighth stanza.
“This was a good response by the guys after a tough night the day before,” said coach Dave Thennis, whose Senators improve to 20-9 overall and 3-3 in conference play. “The kids were great tonight.”
In the Senators’ big fourth inning, the home sent 10 men to the plate and rapped five hits, including Payton Pappas’ double and singles by Koby Griffin, Nick Wrigg, Kienan Steif and Carter Pappas. Danny Burton had a sacrifice bunt, Henry Bowers walked, and Ryan Dorvall and Kenny Wilson reached on a fielder’s choice and an error, respectively.
The local club outhit the Chargers 15-11, with eight out of nine men cracking the hit column.
Payton led the onslaught, going 3 for 5, scoring three times and driving in two runs. Rapping two base knocks each were Griffin, Wrigg (two stolen bases, RBI) and Dorvall (RBI). Bowers chipped in with a pair of RBIs.
Riley Pickens started on the hill for Helena and worked eight innings for the victory. Pickens scattered 11 hits and gave up two earned runs, while striking out two and walking just one. Reliever Henry Bowers finished the job in the ninth.
Jake Fischer was saddled with the loss. Pacing the Electric City crew’s offense was Wyatt Bleskin (3 for 5, triple, RBI).
Defensively, the Senators committed one error, compared Great Falls’ five. The hosts turned a pair of double plays, including a play from center fielder Nick Wrigg to second baseman Danny Burton in the third frame, and a 4-6-3 (Burton-Griffin-Carter) twin killing in the eighth.
“Riley Pickens set the tone for us,” Thennis said. “He threw lots of strikes and minimized offensive opportunities for Great Falls.”
Senators 11, Chargers 5
Great Falls 010 100 101 – 4 11 5
Helena 240 003 02x – 11 15 1
Jake Fischer (1.1), Danny Bonilla (6.2); Riley Pickens (8.0), Henry Bowers (1.0). W – Pickens, L – Fischer.
GREAT FALLS — Wyatt Bleskin 3-5, Jake Fischer 2-5, Bonilla 1-4, Dawson Reiman 2-4, Kevin McGee 0-4, Tucker Wilke 1-3, Isaiah Roberts 2-4, Lane Jensen 0-2, Cade Stuff 0-4.
HELENA (20-9, 3-3) — Danny Burton 1-5, Koby Griffin 2-5, Payton Pappas 3-4, Nick Wrigg 2-5, Henry Bowers 1-2, Ryan Dorvall 2-5, Kienan Stief 2-5, Kenny Wilson 0-5, Carter Pappas 2-5.
2B — Payton; 3B – Bleskin; RBIs – Payton 2, Bowers 2, Wrigg, Dorvall, Stief, Carter, Bleskin, Fisher, Jensen.