MISSOULA – 2017 was a great year for Montana baseball. The Bitterroot Red Sox took their third straight class A title. In July, the Missoula Mavericks won their first state title since 2014.

Nick Yovetich pitched all nine innings of that state AA championship game, throwing three strikeouts. His arm helped the Mavericks topple a top-seeded team in the Bozeman Bucks.

The Mavs went on to host the West Regional Tournament where they destroyed Alaska’s state champs, the Juneau Midnight Suns.

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They dominated Yakima and blew past Hawaii.

Then, the Lewis-Clark Twins bested the Mavs, but Missoula’s boys still had a shot at victory. Moreover, they still had a chance to head to the World Series.

It was the bottom of the ninth and Missoula led, but Lewiston, Idaho snuck two runs at the end, narrowly beating the Mavericks. But Yovetich says, despite the loss, the team was glad for the chance to prove themselves.

“So we can kind of walk out heads high. We made it to sixteen best teams in the country, and we’re state champs too so not a whole lot to hang our heads on,” he said.