MISSOULA – The Missoula Mavericks hosted the Helena Senators in their last regular-season game Wednesday, and the Mavs may carry some momentum over into the state tournament. Missoula came back late to take down Helena 11-8.
The Mavs came out hot, scoring one run in the first inning, but the Senators responded. They tied it up and then took the lead in the second inning, scoring four runs. The Mavericks battled tough, scoring two more in the second to bring it within one run and then tied it at 6 in the sixth inning. The Senators scored two more in the seventh and took an 8-6 lead. Missoula then exploded for five in the eighth to pull ahead for the victory.
Tradd Richardson paced the Mavs, going 3-for-4 with four RBI at the plate. Ty McGurran finished 3-for-4 with three RBI for Helena. Both teams gave most of their pitching staffs work in the final tuneup before state. The Mavericks used six pitchers, and Helena used five.
The game did not count in the conference standings. The Mavericks will carry a three-game winning streak into the state bracket at Kalispell. The No. 5 seed will open against the fourth-seeded Billings Scarlets at 1 p.m. Saturday. No. 7-seed Helena wraps up the first round against the hosts and No. 2-seed Kalispell Lakers at 7 p.m. Saturday.