Bandits blank Miners

Bandits blank Miners
Butte Miner Kian O'Neill makes his 2021 pitching debut in the sixth inning of a loss to Belgrade Sunday evening at 3 Legends Stadium. (Bill Foley photo)

Cooper Vanluchan spun a gem Sunday evening, and the Belgrade Bandits beat the Butte Miners 8-0 on a picture-perfect night on Miners Field at 3 Legends Stadium. (Boxscore)

The game was between conference foes but it goes in the books as a non-conference affair.

Vanluchan surrendered eight hits — seven of which were singles — but worked his way out of any trouble for the complete-game shutout. He struck out five and walked two.

The Bandits did their damage on just five singles, taking advantage of three errors and six walks.

Lane Neill, Coby Richards, Connor Reid, Brady Jaclosha and Dyson Kinnoman singled for Belgrade. Kash Fike drove in two runs without a hit.

Catcher Evan Starr blasted a ball off the fence in left field for a double, which was the game’s only extra-base hit. He also singled. Egan Lester, Kian O’Neill and Ethan Cunningham each hit a pair of singles for Butte. Reece Cox and Hunter Hotalen worked walks.

Rylan Richards started and pitched five innings. He pitched way too well to be saddled with the loss. He scattered five hits, struck out seven and walked five. Only three runs were earned.

O’Neill made his season debut on the bump, pitching the last two innings.

The Miners are off until Saturday when they head to Helena to play the Senators and the Missoula Mavericks.

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