ERIK C. ANDERSON, Helena Independent Record
After two days of rainouts, the Senators and Mavericks finally had their eighth and ninth meetings.
Rain soaked the Queen City on Monday and Tuesday. However, the layoff didn’t bother Mavericks pitcher Dylan Chalmers.
Chalmers, though the Senators moved runners around early, threw a complete game and shut out Helena 2-0 in seven innings at Kindrick Legion Field on Wednesday in top of the doubleheader.
The Mavericks got offense going early, with a little help from the Senators.
Tayler Carlson walked Nick Yovetich, which was followed up with an error. The Senators’ defense tightened up, grinding out a double play, but a Sam Bucy single scored the first run of the game. Parker Stephens grounded out to end the inning.
The Senators opened the game with a groundout, but then had a few active bats. Helena got a single from Colin Sassano and Kienan Stief doubled, but Dylan Chalmers struck out two batters to retire the inning.
Sassano made the a spectacular catch in the second inning, turning a line drive hit over the pitcher’s mound into a double play to end the inning. The soon-to-be defensive back for the Carroll College Saints showed his coverage extends nicely around the diamond.
The Senators defense kept the defense rolling in the third, turning a third consecutive double play. Sassano again flipped to Stief who gunned to first baseman Payton Pappas to end the inning.
In the fourth inning, another double play got the Senators through. Stief plucked a line drive and tagged second to end the inning.
The Senators’ bats couldn’t bleed any hits through the fifth inning.
In the sixth, the Mavericks generated another run. Bucy brought in one on a sacrifice fly to score Yovetich, pushing the lead to 2-0.
Keaton Ralston entered the game for Carlson in the seventh inning. Ralston made quick work of the Mavericks in the seventh, forcing batters into a pair of groundouts and a pop up.
The Senators gave it one last go in the seventh inning. Payton Pappas singled on a shallow fly ball, but Chalmers got three strikeouts to end the game.
Both Mavericks runs were unearned.
Chalmers earned the win, going the distance and striking out nine batters while giving up six hits. Chalmers threw 102 pitches.
Carlson was credited with the loss. He pitched six innings, giving up six hits, two unearned runs and a walk.
Yovetich went 2 for 2 in the box, scoring two runs and earning a walk. Bucy also went 2 for 2, bringing in two RBI.
The teams played almost as if they were itching to get through the double header, finishing the first game in about an hour and twenty minutes.
Sassano led the Senators, finding two hits in his three at-bats.
“Honestly, I thought in terms of pitching and defense I thought we did well,” Senators coach Dave Thennis said. “I thought our guys did what we needed to do. We are just really cold offensively. Every team goes through one of these phases. There’s an end in sight. We will come out of that. What we have to hang our hat on is we have to pitch and we have to play defense. I thought we did that today and the hitting is going to come. I just believe there’s too many hitters in this lineup to not score runs. We will.”
In the second game of the afternoon, the Mavericks used three-run sixth and seventh innings to overcome the Senators, 7-3.
Carter Pappas got the call on the mound in the second game and he started swiftly. Pappas used two pitches to record two outs before allowing a walk and then forcing a groundout to get out of the inning.
The Senators picked up a pair of hits in the second when Ray Moore Jr. and Jackson Maynard singled, but a double play turned by Chalmers to Spencer Schock ended the inning.
Yovetich hit a line drive at Pappas in the third inning. Pappas swatted the ball down, but after collecting it overthrew the ball to first, which advanced runners to second and third. A sacrifice fly by James Martin brought in the first score of the game, 1-0.
A dropped third strike, followed by a error on the throw to first gave the Senators a runner in the bottom of the fourth. Moore then followed it up with a double off the left-center field wall, pushing Carlson to third. Payton Pappas struck a single to shallow right field to bring them both in, and give the Senators their first runs scored in 17 innings of play, the team having been shut out in their previous two games. Eamonn Byrne struck out to end the inning.
Still, the Senators led 2-1. But that lead expired after another inning.
In the sixth, Martin, Fraser and Bucy all singled, Bucy’s shot bouncing into the left corner of Kindrick Legion, knotting the game up at 2-2.
Carter Pappas exited the game and Andrew Rosston came onto the mound for the Senators. Rosston had two-thirds an inning to get through with runners on second and third.
Drew Leonard didn’t welcome Rosston to the game kindly. Leonard drilled a triple to the right corner of the stadium, bringing in two runs, and giving the Mavericks a 4-2 lead. Rosston bounced back with a strikeout, however.
The Senators put Stief on second and Payton Pappas on first after a walk, but with two outs and a groundout, their sixth-inning threat was short-lived.
Conor McCarvel had a nice game in right field, reeling in five difficult catches to record outs, but couldn’t get to what could have been his sixth out, and the Mavericks added more runs in the seventh. Bucy scored two on a line drive to right. Schock added another when he hit a line-drive double, pushing the lead to 7-2.
“You get a couple of at-bats, they get a couple guys in and we fell behind in counts and that limits the pitch you’re going to throw,” Thennis said. “The hitters know that. They generally clue in on a fast ball.”
Carlson had loaded bases in front of his eyes when he singled to drive in a run for the Senators in the bottom of the seventh.
Ryan Mchugh went 6 1/3 innings for the Mavs, giving up seven hits, three runs (two earned), while striking out three and walking four. Ricky Stevens came in for relief and give up two hits.
Carter Pappas got the start for the Senators in the second game, pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, four runs (three earned) and striking out one while walking two.
Sassano and Moore both went 2 for 4 to lead the way for the Senators. Payton Pappas went 1 for 1 to bring in two runs.
Bucy, Schock, Chambers and Martin all had multiple hits for the Mavericks.
The Senators take on the Helena Brewers in exhibition play on Thursday before resuming conference play back at Kindrick Legion Field on Friday against the Billings Scarletts.
Missoula – 100 001 0 — 2 6 1
Helena – 000 000 0 — 0 6 2
Dylan Chalmers; Tayler Carlson, Keaton Ralston (7). W – Chalmers, L – Carlson.
Chalmers struck out nine, with no walks. Carlson gave up two unearned runs.
MISSOULA — Nick Yovetich 2-2, James Martin 1-2, Dane Fraser 0-3, Sam Bucy 2-2, Parker Stephens 0-2, Spencer Schock 0-3, Drew Leonard 1-3, Tradd Richardson 0-3, Ryan McHugh 0-2.
HELENA — Ryan Arntson 1-3, Colin Sassano 2-3, Kienan Stief 1-3, Ray Moore, Jr 1-3, Andrew Rosston 0-2, Brett Jacobs 0-1, Payton Pappas 1-3, Carter Pappas 0-3, Kellan Elder 0-3, Eamonn Byrne 0-3.
2B — Stief; RBIs – Sam Bucy 2.
Missoula – 001 003 3 — 7 9 1
Helena – 000 200 1 — 3 9 1
Ryan McHugh, Ricky Stevens (7); Carter Pappas, Andrew Rosston (6), Brett Jacobs (7). W – McHugh, L – C Pappas.
MISSOULA — Yovetich 0-4, Martin 2-3, Fraser 0-3, Bucy 2-4, Schock 2-4, Leonard 1-4, Richardson 0-3, Frankie 0-2, Parker Stephens 0-1, Chalmers 2-2.
HELENA (14-13) — Conor McCarvel 0-4, Arntson 1-3, Sassano 2-4, Stief 1-3, Carlson 1-4, Moore, Jr 2-4, Payton Pappas 1-1, Jackson Maynard 1-3, Byrne 0-2.
2B — Schock 2, Moore, Jr; 3B – Leonard; RBIs – Schock 2, Bucy 2, Leonard 2, P. Pappas 2, Martin, Carlson.