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Hamilton, Butte win play-in games, earn berths to state baseball tournament

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Posted at 4:32 PM, May 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 11:16:54-04

Hamilton and Butte High advanced to the state baseball tournament with play-in victories Saturday. The Broncs defeated Lone Peak 2-1 at home while Butte earned a 6-3 road win at Livingston.

Hamilton, the No. 2 seed from the Southwest, won in walk-off fashion when Toby DeMoss drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to push past Lone Peak, the No. 3 seed from the East.

Butte, the No. 3 seed from the Southwest, broke a late-game tie by scoring three runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings to prevail over the Rangers, the East's No. 2 seed.

Two more play-in games will be held Monday, as Whitefish visits Frenchtown and Ronan travels to Eureka. The state baseball tournament, the second in Montana history, begins Thursday at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field in Missoula.

Hamilton 2, Lone Peak 1

HAMILTON — Each team scored a run in the first inning, but then they played ball for the following 5½ frames. Hamilton won it in the bottom of the seventh as DeMoss delivered in the clutch.

DeMoss' single scored Hunter Harness to give the Broncs the win and send them on to the state for the second consecutive season. Harness began the inning with a leadoff walk against Lone Peak pitcher Ebe Grabow.

The Big Horns started the scoring in the first when Sid Morris drew a walk to open the game and eventually came around to score from third base after Grabow reached on an error.

But Hamilton answered in its half of the first to tie it on Connor Ekin's RBI single to center, which scored Jackson Lubke.

Hamilton will face Columbia Falls, the top seed from the Northwest, in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Butte 6, Livingston 3

LIVINGSTON — With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Butte got the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to left field off the bat of Quinn Cox to score Cayde Stajcar from third and give the Bulldogs a 4-3 edge.

The Rangers went quietly in the bottom of the sixth. Butte loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, and Alex Jorgensen scored on an error to make it 5-3.

Cox was then hit by a pitch, which brought in Karsen McEwan to put the Bulldogs up 6-3.

In the last half of the seventh, Bulldogs pitcher Gavin Trudgeon got two quick outs before issuing a walk to Livingston's Carter Anderson. Trudgeon then struck out Ben Cipriani to end the game.

Butte, which advances to state for the second consecutive season, will face defending state champion Polson, the No. 1 seed from the West, in the first round at state on Thursday at 4 p.m.