MISSOULA – The Great Falls Chargers out-hit the Missoula Mavericks 12-8 on Monday night, but the timing of the Mavs’ hits made the big difference. Missoula controlled the middle innings on its way to a 9-6 American Legion Baseball victory over the Chargers.
Great Falls took a 3-1 through the first two innings, scoring on a double play with the bases loaded, a hit batter with the bases loaded, and a Josh Lowery RBI single.
Then the Mavericks came through with several two-out hits. Connor Daniels tied the game with a two-run blooper in the third. James Martin gave the Mavericks the lead with a ripped single to left with two outs in the fourth. Brendan Buchanan followed with a two-out triple to right center, scoring Martin to put Missoula up 5-3. Tradd Richardson and Dane Fraser added two-out RBI singles, giving the Mavericks four runs in the fourth, all with two outs.
The Chargers cut the lead back to three after a run-scoring single from Matt Houlihan in the sixth. Missoula pushed the lead up to 9-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
Great Falls appeared to have a rally opportunity in the top of the seventh, but with runners on the corners and no one out, Kaden Heidrick got Andrew Paradise to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. The Chargers once again climbed within three runs after another Lowery single, but Derrick Spring grounded out to second to end the game.
The two teams will play two more conference games in Missoula on Tuesday night, with a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.