GREAT FALLS — If baseball games were decided by hits, the Butte Miners would be 2-0 after opening the 2020 season with a non-conference doubleheader against the Great Falls Chargers.
Runs, of course, are what counts in baseball, and the Miners left the Electric City with a pair of losses. Great Falls topped Butte 7-1 in the opening game. The Chargers completed the sweep by coming back for a 13-12 win in Game 2.
“We outhit them in both games,” new Butte coach Jim LeProwse said. “We played really well. We’re going to be really good.”
Butte tallied 21 hits to Great Fall’s 12 on the day. The more seasoned Chargers, though, made theirs count.
Great Falls (8-4) started its season April 9, and Sunday marked the Chargers’ 11th and 12th games. The Miners only had six outside practices before playing their first game on the eve of Mother’s Day.
Veteran Eyston Lakkala did not play Sunday, and slugger Zach Tierney has not yet been cleared after another offseason surgery.
Butte will travel to Bitterroot Sunday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader with the Bucks.
Great Falls Chargers 7, Butte Miners 1 (Boxscore)
Four of Great Falls’ six hits went for extra bases in the opener. Kellon Lawhan and Trigg Mapes tripled, and Nate Redenbaugh and Lane Seim doubled.
A Sloan got the win, striking out six batters in four innings of work.
Kenley Leary, Eric Hart and Cayde Stajcar each hit a pair of singles to lead the Miners. Eagan Lester and Ethan “Easy” Cunningham added singles for Butte.
Cunningham, Quinn Cox and Kevin Donaldson worked walks for Butte. Rye Doherty and George Riojas pitched for the Miners.
Great Falls Chargers 13, Butte Miners 12 (Boxscore)
A.J. Sloan scored as Mapes reached on an error to cap a two-run sixth inning to put the Chargers up for good.
That came after the Miners rallied for five runs to take the lead in the top of the inning. Mason Davis, who got the win in relief, shut the door on Butte in the ninth.
Mapes added a triple and double in the win. Seim doubled.
Leary and Anthony Knott each went 3 for 4 to lead Butte’s 13-hit attack. Aidan Lee and Cunningham each hit a pair of doubles. Knott hit one.
Knott drove in four runs from the No. 8 hole, and Leary knocked in three from the leadoff spot.
Lester, Hart and Evan Starr added singles for the Miners. Doherty worked three walks, and Cunningham walked twice. Leary, Lee and Sean Ossello each walked once.
Max Demarais and Stajcar, who is still 14, pitched for the Miners.