Colin Sassano
Colin Sassano forces Lethbridge's Tevin Hall out on the front end of a double play. Photo by Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com

Sassano’s walk-off nets Sens a sweep

By Curt Synness, Helena Independent Record

The Helena Senators baked the cake, and Colin Sassano put the icing on, as the Senators’ second baseman clinched a doubleheader sweep over the Lethbridge Elks on Wednesday with a walk-off home run in the 10th inning of the nightcap.

Helena won the opener of the conference battle at Kindrick Legion Field 8-5, before edging Lethbridge in the nightcap 7-6.

The pair of wins moves the Senators to 28-17 overall, and 6-4 in conference action. The highly regarded Elks slip to 8-4 in league play.

In the first game, the hosts put a four-spot on the board in the first inning, led 4-3 after three frames, and 7-5 after seven. The deciding runs were scored in the fourth stanza on a double by Koby Griffin, and RBI singles by Kienan Stief and Payton Pappas.

Helena outhit the visitors 13-10, led by Ryan Arntson and Pappas with three hits apiece; and two base knocks each by Griffin and Stief. Pappas and Stief both produced three RBIs, while Sassano laced two doubles.

Ryan Dorvall started on the mound for the Senators and gave up the five runs on 10 hits in five innings of work, to go along with four strikeouts, for the win. Reliever Henry Bowers twirled two scoreless frames of hitless ball for the save.

In Game 2, Helena scored three runs in both the third and fifth innings, while Lethbridge tallied one in the first, fifth and sixth frames, and three in the third.

The two teams went into extra innings tied at 6, and remained that way until Sassano’s solo shot over the left-field wall in the bottom of the 10th.

Helena hurlers Koby Griffin and Danny Burton shined on the mound, both going five innings, with Burton earning the victory. Griffin scattered six hits and gave up five runs (two unearned), whiffing four Lethbridge batters. Burton permitted just three hits and one run, fanning two and walking none.

Perhaps the defensive play of the night took place in the top of the sixth, when with an Elks runner on second and two down, Senators left fielder Ryan Arntson made a clutch, leaping catch of Wyatt Tomalty’s towering fly ball against the fence to save a run.

The home team again pounded out 13 hits — four of them for extra bases — paced by Sassano’s four-hit performance. He finished with a double to go along with the homer, and a pair of RBIs. Jackson Thennis was 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs, while Steif went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.

Griffin and Burton (RBI) chipped in with a double and a triple, respectively.

“Koby and Danny were really tough on the mound tonight, then we got the big blast from Colin,” Senators coach Dave Thennis said. “Lethbridge is an excellent club … lots of positives today.”

GAME 1

Lethbridge 003 020 0 — 5 10 2
Helena 400 301 x — 8 13 2

Tevin Hall, Raliegh Ferby (5); Ryan Dorvall, Henry Bowers (6). W – Dorvall, L – Hall.

LETHBRIDGE — Eric Davies 0-4, Tevin Hall 2-4, Shawn Grandmont 2-4, Kale Penner 1-2, Torrin Vaselenak 2-2, Kyle Bloor 1-3, Josh Luchanski 1-3, Jay Kotkas 0-1, Wyatt Tomalty 1-3, Raliegh Ferby 0-1.

HELENA — Ryan Arntson 3-4, Danny Burton 1-2, Colin Sassano 1-4, Koby Griffin 2-4, Kienan Stief 2-3, Jackson Thennis 0-2, Ray Moore 0-3, Payton Pappas 3-3, Jackson Maynard 1-4.

2B — Sassano, Griffin, Grandmont, Bloor; RBIs – Stief 3, Pappas 3, Penner 2, Bloor 2, Vaselenak.

GAME 2

Lethbridge 103 011 000 0 — 6 9 3
Helena 003 030 000 1 — 7 13 2

Kale Penner, Shawn Grandmont (5), Kyle Bloor (8); Koby Griffin, Danny Burton (6). W – Burton, L – Bloor.

LETHBRIDGE (8-4) — Davies 1-4, Hall 0-5, Grandmont 2-3, Penner 2-4, Vaselenak 1-5, Luchanski 1-5, Tomalty 1-3, Kotkas 0-2, Leech 1-2, Zach Aos 0-1,Bloor 0-1, Goruk 0-1.

HELENA (6-4) — Arntson 0-5, Burton 1-5, Sassano 4-6, Griffin 1-4, Stief 2-3, Payton 0-5, Jackson Thennis 3-5, Carter Pappas 1-3, Dorvall 1-5, Maynard 0-1.

2B — Sassano (2), Griffin, Stief, Thennis; 3B – Burton; RBIs – Sassano 2, Thennis 2, Grandmont 2, Burton, Stief, Payton, Penner, Vaselenak, Luchanski, Tomalty.