BELGRADE — Kash Fike singled in Sawyer Olson in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday night as the Belgrade Bandits topped the Butte Miners in a 10-9 thriller. (Boxscore)
The game, which was scheduled to go nine, goes down as a non-conference affair, even though the teams are South A foes.
“It was a good game,” Butte coach Jim LeProwse said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Butte High played without Kenley Leary and Sean Ossello, a pair of Butte High athletes who competed at the Western AA Divisional track meet Friday in Missoula.
“We were missing a few guys, but we played pretty well,” LeProwse said.
The game included the return of Zach Tierney, who missed all of last year with a shoulder injury. He was just cleared to return after another shoulder surgery this past winter.
In the lineup as designated hitter, Tierney did not get a hit Friday. LeProwse, though, said it is only a matter of time before his masher starts mashing.
Rye Doherty had a big performance on the bump for the Miners. He pitched eight innings (though the boxscore incorrectly says he pitched the distance).
Doherty bounced back from a rough spot to give the Miners a chance to win. George Riojas took the hard-luck loss in relief.
“Rye did a really good job,” LeProwse said. “They hit him around for one inning. He did a really, really good job after that.”
Olson hit two doubles and Fike added one to lead Belgrade’s 14-hit attack. Jayden Jacksha went 4 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Eric Hart went 4 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Miners. Aidan Lee hit a double and a single, and Kevin Donaldson doubled. Cayde Stajcar added a single for Butte, which was victimized by the at-em balls.
“We squared up on a lot of balls and hit them right at people,” LeProwse said.
The Miners play back-to-back home doubleheaders this weekend. They take on the Bitterroot Bucs on Saturday before playing the Bitterroot Red Sox on Sunday. Both doubleheaders start at 1 p.m.
LeProwse said Ethan Cunningham and Leary will start on the mound Saturday.