Miners rough up A’s in Washoe twin bill

Miners rough up A’s in Washoe twin bill
Butte second baseman Eric Hart throws to first base to turn a double play as Anaconda base runner Mason Worl slides Friday night at Washoe Park. (Bill Foley photo)

By Bill Foley

ANACONDA — The only thing more beautiful than the weather at Washoe Park Friday night was the Butte Miners’ hitting.

The Butte club broke out the bats in a big way, smacking 38 base hits — including nine that went for extra bases — as the Miners swept the Anaconda A’s in a Southern A American Legion doubleheader.

Butte rolled to a 20-3 victory in Game 1. The Miners then broke open a close game for a 17-3 win in the nightcap. Both games were called by the 10-run rule after five innings.

“We barreled up a lot,” Miners coach Jeff LeProwse said. “That’s what we were looking for. We were trying to stay in plus counts and swing at pitches we can hit hard. I think we did that pretty well. We didn’t chase pitches. They were throwing it a little out of the zone, and we didn’t chase.”

The sweep was the second in conference for the Miners in three nights, and the Miner lineup was full of hitting stars as Butte improved to 5-3 in conference play and 5-7 overall.

The team saw 13 different players with at least one hit. Nine had a multi-hit night.

(Story continues below photo gallery)

Ryan Wahl and Eric Hart stood out on the big night for Butte’s bats. Wahl went 5 for 7 with eight runs batted in. That includes five RBIs in the opener.

Hart went 6 for 9 with six RBIs. He also was very economical in closing both games.

“How ’bout Eric Hart with two big saves,” LeProwse said of the performance, neither of which technically earned him a safe. “He threw less than 10 pitches in two games.”

Coyt Stajcar and Kian O’Neill each smacked four hits, while Reece Cox, Egan Lester, Evan Star and Rylan Richards each hit three.

The twin bill began a busy weekend for the Miners, who head to Missoula for a couple of non-conference games with the Mavericks on Saturday. Butte heads to Bozeman for two conference games on Sunday.

LeProwse said that he will have pitchers Ryan Burt, Cox and Richards ready to pitch in the conference games. Wahl, who has two complete games under his belt, is ineligible to pitch Sunday because he threw too many pitches in Wednesday’s pitchers’ duel in Helena.

Still, LeProwse said he is confident his team can keep its good play going in Bozeman.

“I’m thinking we’re going to get two more,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Game 1
Miners 20, A’s 3
The Miners took the drama out of this game from the start.

Kenley Leary reached on an error and scored on a groundout by Wahl. The run was the first of four scored by Butte’s leadoff hitter in the opener.

Lester, the No. 2 hitter, and Wahl, hitting in the three hole, also scored four times in the game. Wahl, who went 3-4 with a double, drove in one run in each plate appearance. That included a bases-loaded walk.

Hart and Cox each went 3 for 4 in the win.

Leary tripled, while Stajcar and Rye Doherty, a call up from the Muckers, doubled. Leary joined Hart with three RBIs, and Aidan Lee and Leaster joined Stajcar with two RBIs. Max Demarais, another call up, made his Miners debut at first base late in the opener.

Richards started, and Hunter Salcido picked up the win with two and a third innings of relief. He retired the side in order — while facing batters three through five — in the third.

Ricahrds, Salcido and Hart combined to hold the A’s to just two hits in the opener, singles by Braedon Sawyer and Tommy Sawyer. Leadoff hitter Mason Worl drove in two runs.

Butte               245      45 — 20  18   2
Anaconda       020      10 —  3     2   3
Rylan Richards, Hunter Salcido (3), Eric Hart (5) and Evan Star, Rye Doherty (4); Braedon Sawyer, Connor Sampson (4) and Mason Worl. W — Salcido. L — Sawyer.
BUTTE (4-3, 4-7) — Kenley Leary 2-3, Egan Lester 2-4, Ryan Wahl 3-4, Hart 3-4, Aidan Lee 1-3, Coyt Stajcar 1-4, Kian O’Neill 1-4, Reece Cox 3-4, Evan Star 1-2, Doherty 1-2, Max Demarais 0-0.
ANACONDA — Worl 0-2, Andrew Tallon 0-3, B. Sawyer 1-3, Jayce Coughlin 0-2, Connor Sampson 0-3, Pat Galle 0-0, Tommy Sawyer 1-2, Nate Blodnick 0-1, Braedon Shaw 0-1. 3B — Leary. 2B — Wahl, Stajcar, Doherty. RBIs — Wahl 5, Hart 3, Leary 3, Lee 2, Lester 2 , Stajcar 2, O’Neill, Cox; Worl 2, T. Sawyer.

Game 2
Miners 17, A’s 3

The nightcap had the makings of a great game.

Anaconda battled back from a 3-0 deficit to knot the game at 3 when Braedon Sawyer hit an RBI double in the third inning.

Then, the Butte bats took over again, and the Miners put up a nine spot in the fourth inning.

The big blow of that inning was a three-run triple by Wahl, soring Star, Richards and Lester. That big hit came right after Lester found a hole between first and second to drive in O’Neill with the go-ahead run.

O’Neill, who hit a single, double and triple, walked and scored four runs in Game 2. That came after O’Neill made the last out for the Miners in each of the first four innings of the opener.

That isn’t to say that O’Neill was struggling. On the contrary. He had one strike out and three “atom balls.”

In the second game, O’Neill’s luck changed in a big way.

“He’s been the most unlikely guy this year,” LeProwse said. “He’s barreled up so many times.”

Richards batted leadoff in the opener and went 3 for 4 with a triple. Wahl and Stajcar also smacked three hits in the game. Hart drove in three runs, joining Wahl and Star. O’Neill knocked in two.

Starr and Wahl each poked two hits. Burt, Salcido Lee and Lester joined Lester with one hit.

Jayce Laughlin and Braedon Sawyer each smacked two hits to lead the A’s. Nate Blodnick and Cory Galle added singles for Anaconda.

Cox started strong on the bump, and Leary was even stronger in relief to pick up the win.

Leary found himself in a jam in the fifth, and he gave way to Hart. The players swapped positions, with Leary moving to second.

He then was right in the middle of a terrific 5-4-3 game-ending double play started by some nice leather by O’Neill at third.

“That was a great play,” LeProwse said. “I didn’t think it had a chance. Kenley made a great turn there. It was nice.”

Butte               120      95 — 17    20   1
Anaconda       021      00 —   3     6    1

Cox, Leary (3), Hart (5) and Starr; Shaw, Bryant Saltenberger (4) and Coughlin. W — Leary. L — Shaw.
BUTTE (5-3, 5-7) — Richards 3-4, Lester 1-3, Salcido 1-1, Wahl 2-3, Hart 3-5, Lee 1-4, Demarais 0-1, Ryan Burt 1-2, Stajcar 3-4, O’Neill 3-3, Starr 2-4.
ANACONDA — Worl 0-2, Tallon 0-3, B. Sawyer 2-3, Laughlin 2-2, Sampson 0-2, P. Galle 0-2, T. Sawyer 0-2, Blodnick 1-2, Cory Galle 1-2.
3B — Richards, Wahl, O’Neill. 2B — Stajcar, O’Neill; B. Sawyer. RBIs — Wahl 3, Hart 3, Starr 3, O’Neill 2, Richards, Lester, Stajcar; B. Sawyer, Blodnick, C. Galle.

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