HELENA — The Gallatin Valley Outlaws and the Livingston Braves won their opening-round games at the American Legion Baseball Southern A district tournament in Helena on Thursday evening.
Gallatin Valley, the No. 2 seed, jumped all over the No. 7-seed Butte Muckers, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning and holding a 9-1 lead after two. The Outlaws kept their foot on the gas as they pushed their lead to 15-1 after four innings. Gallatin Valley won 15-4 in five innings.
Ryan Murphy picked up a pair of base hits and two walks, reaching base all four times and driving in one run on the afternoon. Hunter Johnson, Michael Nehring, Derik DeFrance and Brady Jones all had two RBI for the Outlaws.
In the nightcap Livingston built an early lead, but had to hold on late to beat the Helena Reps 5-4.
Ethan Bullock went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Braves. Pitcher Sage McMinn went six innings, giving up just two runs on four hits and striking out nine batters. Gallatin Valley and Livingston will square off at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.
In the morning session No. 4-seed Bozeman defeated No. 5-seed Dillon, 7-3, and top-seeded Belgrade took down No. 8-seed Anaconda, 13-3.