For the first time in since 2003, the Helena Reps qualified outright for the Class A State Tournament by beating the Livingston Braves 4-3 in 10 innings in the South District Tournament District loser backer final. The Reps were guaranteed at least second place in the district and advanced to play Deer Lodge in the tournament finals.
In the first inning, after a single by Carter Wald and walk issued to Colin Sassano, Ray Moore doubled to score Wald, and Sassano scored on a subsequent wild pitch as the Reps took a 2-0 lead. Then in the fifth, Sassano doubled to score Eamonn Byrne for Helena’s third run.
In the sixth, the Reps got out of a huge jam with two runners on and nobody out, as Brock Peterson’s attempted sacrifice bunt was caught by Brett Jacobs and the runner at second was doubled off.
And in the top of the eighth Livingston tied it at three, Andrew Rosston came on to pitch with two on and nobody out and subsequently got an infield fly for the first out. Rosston then induced a 6-4-3 double play to escape the inning.
In the tenth, after singles by Sassano and McCarvel, McMahon hit a single that ricocheted off pitcher Sterling Lay’s glove, and in an attempt to get the runner, the Livingston second baseman threw the ball away, allowing Sassano to score the winning run in a Reps 4-3 victory.
The trio of Tristan Siegers, Jacobs, and Rosston were terrific on the mound for the Reps. Siegers pitched 5.0 innings, allowing no earned runs, striking out two and walking two. Jacobs gave a heroic effort, pitching 2.0 innings after pitching a complete game the night before, giving up two runs. Rosston earned the win by pitching the final 3.0 innings of scoreless ball.
Offensively for the Reps, Byrne continue his hot-hitting by going 3-4. Sassano and McMahon each had two hits with a double, and Moore also contributed a double. Wald, Robert McCarvel, Isaiah Meza, and Talon Burchard had a hit each.
The Reps last played at the state Class A tournament in 2013 when Helena was the host site, but had not qualified through play in 12 years. They will head to the state tournament in Kalispell on Wednesday and will take on an opponent to be determined on Thursday.