The Helena Senators were shaded by one run in both ends of a Class AA Legion doubleheader in Kalispell on Sunday, 4-3 and 7-6.
In the lid-lifter, Helena fell behind 4-0 before erupting for three runs in the top of the seventh. However, the Senators came up one tally shy of tying things up.
Payton Pappas started on the hill for the Senators, working four innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Henry Bowers relieved 1/3 of an inning and was saddled with the loss. Carter Pappas went the final 1 2/3 frames of hitless ball.
Lakers’ hurlers Dawson Smith and Andrew Schleusner combined for a 6-hitter. Micah Benson went 1 for 3 with two RBIs for the hosts.
Jackson Maynard led Helena with a 3 for 3 effort at the plate, stroking a double and driving in a run. Teammate Eamonn Byrne was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
“(That was) a competitive start by Payton, we just could not combine that with some offense,” said coach Dave Thennis, whose Senators fell to 0-3 on the young season. “They had us on our heels for a good chunk of the game, and even with that, we still had an opportunity to win it late.”
The Senators jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the nightcap after 4 1/2 innings, but couldn’t hold on, as the Lakers scored three markers in both the fifth and sixth stanzas, and another in the bottom of the seventh to complete the comeback.
Helena starter Tanner McMahon pitched 4 2/3 innings of three-hit ball, allowing three runs and striking out four. He was spelled by Tristan Siegers and Danny Burton, with Burton sustaining the defeat.
Micah Benson and Logan DeCock did the mound work for Kalispell, while Hayden Schlepp led the 9-hit attack, going 2 for 4, with a two-bagger and three RBIs.
The Senators stroked eight base knocks, paced by Koby Griffin (double, RBI), Payton (two doubles, RBI) and Jackson Thennis, with two hits apiece.
“(Another) great start, (this time) from Tanner. He was very efficient with all his pitches, but we just had a hard time sealing the deal,” the Helena skipper said.
Helena Senators AA 000 000 3 — 3 6 1
Kalispell Lakers AA 210 010 x — 4 9 0
WP — Dawson Smith, LP — Payton Pappas.
HELENA — Danny Burton 0-4, Colin Sassano 0-4, Koby Griffin 0-3, Keinan Stief 0-3, Jackson Thennis 1-2, Ray Moore 0-2, Tanner McMahon 0-2, Talon Burchard 0-1, Jackson Maynard 3-3, Eamonn Byrne 2-3.
KALISPELL — Haydn Schlepp 1-4, Micah Benson 1-3, Joe Broughton 1-3, Patrick O’Connell 1-3, Leif Ericksen 0-1, Andrew Schleusner 2-2, Spencer Pisk 2-3, Eric Seaman 0-3, Jayson Combs 1-3.
2B — Maynard; Broughton; 3B — Schlepp; RBI — Burton, Maynard, Byrne, Benson (2), Schleusner, Pisk.
Helena Senators AA 130 020 0 — 6 8 1
Kalispell Lakers AA 000 033 1 — 7 8 3
WP — Logan DeCock, LP — Danny Burton.
HELENA (0-3) — Koby Griffin 2-4, Danny Burton 0-3, Colin Sassano 1-2, Payton Pappas 2-3, Henry Bowers 1-4, Jackson Thennis 2-4, Robert McCarvel 0-3, Carter Pappas 0-2, Talon Burchard 0-3.
KALISPELL — Haydn Schlepp 2-4, Micah Benson 2-4, Joe Broughton 1-4, Patrick O’Connell 0-2, Leif Ericksen 0-3, Andrew Schleusner 0-2, Jonas Nyman 0-2, DeCock 1-1, Eric Seaman 1-2, Jayson Combs 0-2, Clay Prosser 1-1, Spencer Pisk 0-0.
2B — Griffin, P. Pappas (2), DeCock, Schlepp; RBI — Griffin, Sassano, P. Pappas, Bowers, Schlepp (3), Benson, DeCock, Seaman.