MISSOULA – The defending state American Legion Baseball champions got back on the winning track Thursday night and snapped the long winning streak of this year’s favorites.
The Missoula Mavericks edged the Billings Royals on their way to a 4-2 win in a seven-inning conference game. The Mavs improve to 1-3 in league, while the Royals saw their 17-game winning streak end. Billings falls to 7-1 in conference.
Dylan Chalmers shut down the high-scoring Royals with a complete game. He struck out five and gave up only six hits over seven innings. Billings scored on a two-out RBI single by Conner Polkowske in the third inning and a two-out RBI single by Chandler Callicolt in the top of the seventh. That last hit brought the tying run to the plate, but Chalmers forced the next batter, Michael Morehead, to ground out to short to end the game.
All four runs the Mavericks scored were unearned. A two-out error in the second inning allowed Brendon Hill to advance to third base. The next batter, Beau King, drove him in with a single.
Then in the bottom of the third, Tradd Richardson laid down a sacrifice bunt with runners on first and second and nobody out. Pitcher Tyler Frieders threw the ball away going to first, allowing both runners to score. Richardson later scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Daniels.
The Mavs’ win means the two teams split their only conference showdowns of the season. The Royals won 14-3 in Missoula on Wednesday.