After an auspicious start that saw two of the first four Kalispell batters blast triples to the gap for an early 1-0 lead, it appeared the Helena Senators might be in for a long afternoon at rainy Kindrick Legion Field and finish up on the wrong side of the won-loss column.
But then Senators starting pitcher Ryan Dyan settled down and shut the Lakers out the rest of the way, while Helena’s offense put an 11-spot on the board for a five inning 10-run win. The hosts followed that up with a 5-2 victory in the nightcap and a Class AA Legion baseball doubleheader sweep over Kalispell on Sunday. The Senators turned the tables on the Lakers, having been swept in Kalispell two weeks ago, and move to 5-5 on the year.
“We just played well all weekend long,” said coach Dave Thennis, whose Senators split with Bozeman on Saturday before brooming the Lakers, and went 3-1 over the weekend. “The pitching was good today, we played great defense (they committed but one error on Sunday), and we hit the ball hard. Even the outs were hit sharp.”
In the lid-lifter on a cold, rainy day, Helena stormed out of the gates, scoring four runs in their half of the first inning, three markers in the second and four more scores in the third to go up 11-1. And Dorvall went the distance, scattering six hits over the final five frames, while striking out two and walking just one.
Payton Pappas and Koby Griffin led the assault, with three RBIs apiece. Pappas went 2 for 3, with a booming 2-run triple that reached the right-centerfield fence on one bounce, and Griffin laced a double. Ryan Arntson was also 2 for 3.
In the second game, the home team pushed across three runs in the second inning, and two more in the third, on Jackson Maynard’s two-run double high over the left fielder’s head. Maynard was tagged out trying to stretch it into a triple, by what could best be described as an overly aggressive forearm shiver by the Kalispell player. But coach Thennis immediately wrapped his arms around his player to keep the peace.
Arnston went 3 for 3 with an RBI to finish the day 5 for 6 at the plate, while Thennis ripped a two-bagger and Griffin drove in a run.
Helena used four pitchers — Carter Pappas, Henry Bowers, Tristan Siegers and Danny Burton — with Pappas giving up two hits in four frames of scoreless work for the win. Siegers allowed one hit and fanned two in his one inning, and Burton closed out the seventh for the save.
“Our pitchers were all sharp, mixing up their pitches well; a lot of fastballs and changes, and Siegers throws a pretty good split,” the Helena skipper said. “We’ve got a lot of nice pieces to the puzzle, so now we just gotta put them all together in the right places.”
Kalispell 100 00x x — 1 8 4
Helena 434 0xx x — 11 8 0
W — Dorvall, L — Benson.
KALISPELL — Hayden Schlepp 2-2, Benson 0-1, Broughton 1-3, Patrick O’Connell 1-2, Leif Erickson 1-2, Andrew Schleusner 1-2, Pisk 1-2, Jonas Nyman 0-2, Combs 0-2, Eric Seamon 1-2.
HELENA — Colin Sassano 1-3, Ryan Arntson 2-3, Payton Pappas 2-3, Koby Griffin 1-3, Ray Moore 0-1, Danny Burton 1-2, Kienan Stief 0-2, Carter Pappas 0-2, Eamonn Byrne 1-2, Jackson Maynard 0-1.
2B — Griffin, Schlepp, Broughton; 3B — Payton, Schlepp, O’Connell; RBIs — Payton 3, Griffin 3, Burton 2, Moore, Stief, Maynard, Broughton.
Dorvall struck out two and walked one.
Kalispell 000 010 1 — 2 6 3
Helena 032 000 x — 5 8 1
Carter Pappas, Henry Bowers (5), Tristan Siegers (6), Danny Burton (7). W – C. Pappas, L – DeCock, S – Burton.
KALISPELL — Schlepp 0-4, Benson 2-3, Broughton 0-2, O’Connell 1-3, Erickson 1-2, Schleusner 1-4, Pisk 0-2, Dawson Smith 1-2, Jonas Nyman 0-3, Combs 0-1.
HELENA (5-5) — Griffin 1-3, Arntson 3-3, Payton 0-2, Bowers 0-3, Sassano 1-4, Jackson Thennis 1-3, Maynard 1-3, Burton 1-1, Byrne 0-2, Moore 0-1.
2B — Thennis, Maynard, O’Connell, Smith; RBIs — Maynard 2, Griffin, Arntson, Broughton, O’Connell.
Carter Pappas gave up 2 hits in 4.0 innings of scoreless pitching. Siegers gave up one hit and struck out 2 in one inning of relief.