The Helena Reps bested Lethbridge 7-1 during the third day of the Cloninger Classic. The two teams own 2-1 records for the Class A baseball tournament, and will meet again today at 1:30 p.m. at Kindrick Legion Field in the consolation finals.
The championship between the Glacier Twins (3-0) and Bozeman Bucks (2-1) will take place at 4 p.m.
“The Bucks had three more runs than we did in the tiebreaker,” explained Reps coach Jon Burnett.
In the win over the Miners, the Reps scored one run in the second inning, two tallies in the fourth frame, one in the fifth, and three more in the sixth. The Canadians’ lone tally occurred in the final stanza.
Helena was outhit 7-4, but took advantage of three Lethbridge errors, and seven bases on balls and two hit batsmen by Miners’ pitchers. The Reps did not commit an error on defense.
Dylan Steinmetz (single) and Riley Chisholm (sacrifice) posted two RBIs each for the Reps. Teammates Grady Koenig had two base knocks, while Jacob Howell rapped a double.
Starting pitcher Hunter Sickerson worked 6.2 innings, scattering nine hits and striking out four. Sickerson lost his shutout in the seventh frame. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Kreiger came in in relief and got the final out.
Lethbridge’s offense was led by Dalton Demers, Scott Jensen and Skyler Vaselenek (double), with two hits apiece. Levi Abbott had an RBI single. Jeremiah Bohnert took the loss on the mound.
“Hunter was using mainly a well-located fastball, mixed up with split finger that was pretty effective,” said Burnett, whose Reps move to 20-4 on the year.
The Helena skipper noted the defensive web gems of third baseman Riley Chisholm, who “picked up everything hit his way,” and centerfielder Ty McGurran who “made a big catch on a sinking line drive and doubled the guy off second” in the sixth inning.
The Class B Independents were shaded by Vauxhall (Alberta) 7-6 in the first game of the day. Vauxhall trailed 6-4 going into the sixth inning, before plating three runs, and then holding Helena scoreless over the final two frames for the 1-run win.
The Spurs outhit the Independents 11-5, led by Dax Wandler (RBI) and Reed Odland (triple, RBI), with three hits apiece. Hayden Mack went 2 for 4 and posted a pair of RBIs. Brady Hawg and Wandler shared the pitching duties.
Colby Howell paced Helena with three hits and drove in a run, while Rudy Barkley had a single and two RBIs. Starting pitcher Peyton Witham went 5.1 innings and took the loss.
The other winners on Saturday were the Glacier Twins over Vauxhall 13-2 and Anaconda 15-1, and the Bozeman Bucks over Dickinson 11-1.