MISSOULA – Early on, the defending state champion Missoula Mavericks looked poised for a much-needed win. But then the team that looks like this year’s favorite came back in a big way.
The Billings Royals scored 14 consecutive runs, turning a 3-0 deficit into a 14-3 win. The Royals have now won 17 straight games to improve to 20-1. Missoula’s loss drops the Mavs to 0-3 in conference play.
Missoula took the lead quickly in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run single from Sam Bucy. Tradd Richardson drove in another in the third to put the Mavericks up 3-0.
Brendon Hill shut down the Royals through four innings, but Billings got on the board with three runs in the fifth, on an error, fielder’s choice, and Jarrett Leinwand RBI single.
Then the Royals completely blew the game open with eight runs in the sixth inning. Leinwand drove in two more with a bases-loaded single, and Brooks Zimmer also added a two-run single in the onslaught.
The same two teams head back to Lindborg-Cregg Field for another conference game at 5 p.m. Thursday.