High School SportsMore High School


'Job's not finished': Eureka baseball enjoys strong start to season but has eyes on state tourney

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 19:45:07-04

EUREKA — After making it to the state tournament in the inaugural Montana high school baseball season last year, the Eureka Lions are hungry for more. And so far, they're off to a hot start in Year 2.

"We really put it together, it's a lot cleaner than last year," said senior captain AJ Truman. "Last year we had a problem with blow-up innings and errors and stuff. This year it's a lot cleaner and our defense is a lot better is what I think, and obviously the job's not finished but off to a great start."

And that great start consists of six straight wins while outscoring opponents 79-4, something Truman credits to the tight-knit bond the team has from competing in other sports together.

"We got a small school here so finding athletes isn't the easiest, so we got tons of kids playing three sports a year," said Truman. "And we're all with each other for the entire school year. So you really create a bond that most schools can’t."

Fellow 2023 Northwest division all state teammate Tristan Butts knows above the winning, the privilege to finally play high school baseball in Montana is worth even more.

"That we get to do this high school baseball for the last couple of years, its that much more valuable, the time you get since we haven’t been able to do it for four years," said Butts. "So, I guess you've just got to put four years into two and be grateful for it."

Last year the Lions bowed out from state in the opening round with a 6-4 loss to the eventual state champion Polson Pirates, but even qualifying for state in the program's first season lit a fire under the team.

"Once you go to state you never want to stop going, you always want to go back," said Butts.

"But I think this year we definitely want to get some hardware there and not just settle for an appearance and actually make some noise and place there. So I'd say that'd be our goals for this year at state instead of just going."

The Lions will look to continue building on their strong start to the year and make a second consecutive appearance with high aspirations at the state tournament in Missoula May 16-18.