Miners send Cody Sletten out in style

Monday’s doubleheader against Deer Lodge wasn’t the last in a Butte Miners uniform for Cody Sletten.

It might not be the last home game for the Butte club’s lone senior.

The twin bill at Copper Mountain Park, though, was billed “Sletten’s Last Game,” and the Miners made it count.

Sletten went 4 for 6 with two doubles and three runs scored as the Miners swept the doubleheader. Butte won the opener 3-0 before completing the sweep with a 9-4 win in the nightcap.

“I was just trying to think all positive,” Sletten said after the sweep. “I just tried to hit the ball and tried to get everything out.”

Cody Sletten rounds third on his way to scoring the first run of Butte’s 3-0 victory in Game 1 of the Monday’s doubleheader.

The wins lifted Butte to 23-14 overall and 11-3 in Southern A District play. Butte, though, had 16 too many students in grades 10 through 12 the last year, so the Miners are ineligible to play in the postseason in Class A.

So, the Miners will travel to Bremerton, Wash., to represent Montana in Little League Baseball’s Little Big League Western Regional District tournament July 15-20. The Miners will leave this weekend. The team learned of the trip over the weekend.

Sletten, the lone 19-year-old player on the Miners, is too old to compete in the tournament. He’ll make the trip as a coach.

“It hurts. It definitely hurts,” Sletten said of not being able to play in Washington. “I wish I could be out on the field with them. But I’m going to go out there and support them. It’s the only thing I can do.”

The trip means the Miners had to change the end of the schedule. They’ll miss five home games for sure. If all goes according to plan, the Miners won’t make their July 21 home doubleheader against Helena because they’ll be playing in the Little Big League World Series in Easley, S.C.

That, of course, is the plan for the Butte club.

“We don’t plan to lose,” Miners coach Jeff LeProwse said.

That means Tuesday’s 4 p.m. doubleheader at Gallatin Valley might be the last time Sletten wears a uniform and plays for the home nine.

The 2012 high school graduate said he hopes to play college baseball, but he hasn’t had a ton of offers pouring in, even though he carries a .365 batting average and a 4.76 earned run average on the season.

“I want to go play college ball, but I haven’t really gotten anything,” he said. “I talked to Miles City (Miles Community College) my sophomore year down in GVO. But I haven’t heard anything since. I’m going to have to start calling coaches and find out when tryouts are.”

LeProwse thinks Sletten has a chance to play at the next level.

“He’s been on fire lately,” the coach said. “Hopefully he’ll hook on with a college team in the next few weeks. He should because he deserves it.”

Sletten, who played two years with the Muckers and two years with the Miners, also probably deserves praise for helping the Miners in the rebuilding process.

With the team losing its home at Alumni Coliseum after last season, and players quitting left and right last season, nobody would have blamed Sletten if he scrapped baseball this year. That thought, he said, never crossed his mind.

“No because this is the only sport I’ve ever played,” he said. “I thought I might as well go out with a bang. This is my best year, as a team, that I ever had.”

In Monday’s opener, Sletten led off the third inning with a double. He scored on a Zach Hart single for the first run of the 3-0 win.

Trey Hoagland added a two-run single in the sixth for two insurance runs to back up a solid pitching performance from Hart, who went the distance.

Hoagland hit two singles, while Tristan Frey added one in the win.

Jesse Vasquez, Dakota Crow, Logn Doiron, Kaehl Lowery, Karson Wheat and Shelton Danforth singled for the Wranglers.

Crow walked and scored on a Derek Walker groundout in the third inning for a 1-0 lead in Game 2.

The Miners responded with two in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Ty Harney and Sletten each singled and scored. Harney scored on a Tanner Costello ground out. Sletten scored when Frey reached on an error.

Sletten and Jimmy Martz doubled and scored to highlight a three-run fourth inning as the Miners took control.

Nate LeProwse doubled and scored in the fifth.

Costello and Martz each had a two-hit game. Harney joined Costello with two RBIs.

Dylan McDonald and Hoagland added singles in the win. Trent Maloney pitched into the sixth inning to get the win. LeProwse pitched two innings for the save.

Sletten ended the nightcap at 3 for 4. His last hit was a ground out that he nearly beat out, showing no signs of a player who has been battling a groin injury the last couple of weeks.

“I haven’t even said anything to Jeff,” Sletten said. “I don’t want to sit my last two games.”

Tuesday’s schedule originally called for one nine-inning game. The teams will play a doubleheader because of Butte’s schedule change.

The Miners’ next game after that will be in a Montana uniform. Sletten will coach first base.

“I’ll just support them as much as I can,” Sletten said. “I’ll try to get them down to North Carolina, South Carolina, whatever Carolina it is.”

Game 1 scorecard

Game 2 scorecard

Game 1
DEER LODGE           AB  R  H BI  BUTTE MINERS         AB  R  H BI
Jesse Vasquez         3  0  1  0  Cody Sletten          2  1  1  0  
Kenny Stryker         2  0  0  0  Zach Hart             2  0  1  1  
Dakota Crow           1  0  1  0  Tanner Costello       2  1  0  0  
Logan Doiron          2  0  1  0  Tristan Frey          3  1  1  0  
Derek Walker          1  0  0  0  Nate LeProwse         1  0  0  0  
Kaehl Lowery          3  0  1  0  Trey Hoagland         3  0  2  2  
Karson Wheat          3  0  1  0  Jimmy Martz           3  0  0  0  
Trent Surina          3  0  0  0  Trent Maloney         3  0  0  0  
Sheldon Danforth      2  0  1  0  Marcus Madrazo        2  0  0  0  
TOTALS               20  0  6  0  TOTALS               21  3  5  3
DEER LODGE                    000 000 0 -- 0  
BUTTE MINERS                  001 002 x -- 3  
LOB--DEER LODGE 6, BUTTE MINERS 5. ERR--Kaehl Lowery, Trent
Maloney. 2B--Cody Sletten. HBP--Sheldon Danforth, Dakota
Crow. SACB--Kenny Stryker, Logan Doiron, Nate LeProwse, Zach
 DEER LODGE                      IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Jesse Vasquez                  6.00    5    3    3    4    4    0
 BUTTE MINERS               
Zach Hart                      7.00    6    0    0    3    0    0
WP--Jesse Vasquez. BALK--Zach Hart. SO--Trent Maloney, Nate
LeProwse, Marcus Madrazo, Jimmy Martz. BB--Derek Walker (2),
Dakota Crow, Cody Sletten, Nate LeProwse, Tanner Costello.
Game 2
DEER LODGE           AB  R  H BI  BUTTE MINERS         AB  R  H BI
Jesse Vasquez         3  1  1  0  Cody Sletten          4  2  3  0  
Kenny Stryker         4  0  0  0  Zach Hart             2  0  0  0  
Dakota Crow           3  1  1  2   Colten Billteen      0  1  0  0  
Logan Doiron          2  0  0  1  Tanner Costello       4  0  2  2  
Derek Walker          4  0  1  1  Tristan Frey          4  0  0  1  
Kaehl Lowery          3  0  1  0  Nate LeProwse         3  2  1  0  
 Chase Stdeyth        1  0  0  0  Trey Hoagland         2  1  1  1  
Trent Surina          2  0  0  0  Jimmy Martz           3  1  2  0  
 Jaymen Schimming     1  0  0  0  Ty Harney             3  1  1  2  
Logan Danforth        0  1  0  0  Dylan McDonald        2  1  1  1  
 Porter Struble       1  0  0  0                                    
Sheldon Danforth      2  1  0  0                                    
TOTALS               26  4  4  4  TOTALS               27  9 11  7
DEER LODGE                    001 003 0 -- 4  
BUTTE MINERS                  002 313 x -- 9  
LOB--DEER LODGE 11, BUTTE MINERS 9. ERR--Logan Danforth (2),
Sheldon Danforth, Jesse Vasquez (2), Dakota Crow, Logan
Doiron, Trey Hoagland (2). 2B--Cody Sletten, Nate LeProwse,
Jimmy Martz. HBP--Logan Danforth (2), Sheldon Danforth,
Logan Doiron. SACF--Dylan McDonald, Ty Harney. SACB--Trent
Surina, Dylan McDonald, Zach Hart, Jimmy Martz, Trey
Hoagland. SB--Dakota Crow.
 DEER LODGE                      IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR
Kaehl Lowery                   4.33    7    6    4    2    1    0
Derek Walker                   1.67    4    3    3    1    0    0
 BUTTE MINERS               
Trent Maloney                  5.00    2    3    3    5    4    0
Nate LeProwse                  2.00    2    1    1    0    4    0
PB--Dakota Crow (2), Ty Harney. WP--Trent Maloney (2).
BALK--Kaehl Lowery. SO--Chase Stdeyth, Sheldon Danforth,
Trent Surina, Jesse Vasquez (2), Derek Walker, Kenny
Stryker, Porter Struble, Ty Harney. BB--Logan Danforth,
Sheldon Danforth, Jesse Vasquez, Dakota Crow, Logan Doiron,
Nate LeProwse, Colten Billteen, Trey Hoagland.

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