O’Neill, Lester lead Miners past Bucks in opener

O’Neill, Lester lead Miners past Bucks in opener

LIVINGSTON — Kian O’Neill and Egan Lester provided a potent one-two punch for the Butte Miners Thursday.

The top two hitters in the batting order combined to drive in seven runs and score four more as the Miners rolled to a 14-2 win over the Bozeman Bucks at the Southern A District tournament at Livingston Legion Field. (Boxscore)

The victory sends Butte (27-21) to Friday’s 5 p.m. game against Anaconda or Gallatin Valley. Bozeman (17-30) heads to loser-out action. (Bracket)

In earlier first-round games, Dillon beat Helena 13-2, and Belgrade routed Livingston 16-0.

O’Neill went 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs scored, while Lester, the leadoff hitter, went 1 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs.

Aidan Lee and Reece Cox doubled in Butte’s 10-hit attack that was more than enough support for starting pitcher Rye Doherty. Doherty went three and two thirds inning, giving up two runs, one of which was earned. He scattered seven hits and was taken out after a long lightning delay.

Eyston Lakkala fanned two as he got the final four outs of the win.

Cox added a single in the win. Eric “Chooch” Hart, Evan Starr, Coyt Stajcar and Sean Ossello also singled in the win. Ossello scored three runs from the No. 9 hole. Hunter Hotalen walked twice and scored twice.

Austin Cooper and Josh Woodberry doubled to lead the Bucks, who fell to 1-4 against Miners this season.

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