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Matchups set for state baseball play-in games

Baseball generic
Posted at 8:57 AM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 15:12:33-04

(This article has been updated to provide clarity on the tiebreaker used to determine the East's third seed.)

MISSOULA — The play-in games for the state baseball tournament are set.

Livingston will host Butte, Frenchtown will host Whitefish, Eureka will host Ronan and Hamilton will host Lone Peak to determine the final four teams for the state tournament, which is May 16-18 at Missoula.

Belgrade (East), Columbia Falls (Northwest), Florence (Southwest) and Polson (West) earned the four No. 1 seeds for the tournament. Polson won the inaugural high school baseball state championship last spring with a 10-4 win over Whitefish in the title game.

The play-in games feature teams that finished second in their division in the regular season hosting teams that finished third in another division. Columbia Falls won the Northwest, followed by Eureka in second and Whitefish in third.

In the Southwest, first-place Florence led Hamilton in second and Butte in third. And in the West, Polson was followed by Frenchtown in second and Ronan in third.

The East featured the tightest race for the No. 3 seed. Belgrade was the clear No. 1, and Livingston settled into the No. 2 seed. Lone Peak, East Helena, Sidney and Columbus each finished 4-6 in the conference to tie for third.

To break the tie, according to one of the athletic directors involved, officials used the run differential in games played between the four tied teams. Results against Belgrade and Livingston were not used to break the tie.

The complete play-in schedule is below.

Saturday, May 11

E No. 3 Lone Peak at SW No. 2 Hamilton, 12 p.m.

SW No. 3 Butte at E No. 2 Livingston, 2 p.m.

Monday, May 13

NW No. 3 Whitefish at W No. 2 Frenchtown, 4:40 p.m.

W No. 3 Ronan at NW No. 2 Eureka, 5:30 p.m.