BOZEMAN – The Gallatin Valley Outlaws won the Southern A district title over the Dillon Cubs, 12-2, in six innings Sunday afternoon in Bozeman.
“It just feels great. We’ve been close the last few years and our team really just came together, so it’s an awesome feeling, but we also know we have to keep going and go after it at state,” said GVO senior Michael Nehring.
Nehring led the Outlaws at the plate going 2-4 with three RBI in the championship game. Michael Jones was dominant on the mound for GVO, throwing 6.0 IP and only allowing five hits while striking out seven batters on his way to earning the win.
And it was a bit of a redemption win for Gallatin Valley. The Outlaws finished third last year at the state tournament and second at the district tournament.
“This team had kind of a bad taste on how last year ended at the state tournament. So I think they wanted to prove to everybody that they could win the district,” said GVO head coach Duwayne Scott.
“We kind of have a chip on our shoulder because we are a little tired of being second, being third and not being the top dog,” added Nehring. “I think we really wanted it and we played like it, and we are going to do our best to do that at state, too.”
Gallatin Valley’s bats were on fire this week, scoring an average of 13.5 runs per game through the district tournament.
“This team is pretty good offensively, so to put up double-digit hits and double-digit runs wasn’t surprising. It was exactly what we needed to do to win this thing,” said Scott.
Now it’s on to the State A tournament in Florence this upcoming weekend where GVO will be a top seed. As for the Dillon Cubs, even though they lost the championship game, they still punched their ticket to state by making it to the finals.
It’s the first time the Cubs have been to the state tournament since 2008. For the Outlaws, they are looking to win their first state crown since 2005.