LIVINGSTON — On Saturday afternoon, it was no surprise that the top-seeded Belgrade Bandits were facing off against the No. 2 seed Gallatin Valley Outlaws in the Southern A District Legion baseball tournament. The teams split the season series, both sweeping one another at their home fields.
The Belgrade Bandits capitalized off of a Gallatin Valley error to propel themselves past the Outlaws, winning 5-2.
Cooper Vanluchene was on the mound for Belgrade, but he was able to escape a couple Outlaws threats to pitch a solid game. Vanluchene pitched a complete game, giving up 11 hits, striking out seven and only giving up one earned run.
In the bottom of sixth inning Belgrade had a 2-1 lead with men on first and second base and nobody out. Left fielder Coby Richards laid down a bunt and Outlaws pitcher Patrick Dietz fielded the ball cleanly, but overthrew the first baseman. By the time Gallatin Valley was able to recover the ball both Bandits on base came around to score and Richards ended up at second base.
The Outlaws scored one run in the seventh and were threatening to score more before Vanluchene induced a groundout to end the game.
Payton Burman led the Bandits with three hits and one run batted in. Bo Hays had the lone run batted in for the Outlaws.
The Bandits head to the championship on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and punched their ticket to the state tournament.
The Outlaws have to make their way through the losers bracket starting Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for another shot at Belgrade and chance to earn a state tournament berth.