MISSOULA — The Missoula Mavericks had one blowout and one tight battle on Saturday at their annual Memorial Tournament. In the end, it equaled two wins for the home team.
The Mavs dominated the Central Washington Spuds early in the evening, 9-0. Then they finished a late comeback to take down Centralia, Washington 4-2. Missoula improves to 3-1 in the tournament, which will wrap up on Sunday.
In Game 1, Missoula scored two in the first, then exploded for five runs in the second to lead 7-0. Two more runs in the fourth pushed the lead to 9-0. Parker Stevens gave up only a single hit and two walks over five shutout innings. And the game ended due to the tournament’s eight-run rule after the top of the fifth.
The heart of the Mavericks’ order did the bulk of the damage versus the Spuds, as 3-4-5 hitters Tradd Richardson, Stewart Long and Bridger Johnson each had two hits. Long drove in three runs, while Richardson had a couple RBIs.
Centralia kept it close in a pitcher’s duel in the nightcap. The visitors held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. Then Missoula used small ball to start a rally. Three consecutive bunts led to three runs in the inning, and Missoula hung on for the 4-2 victory.
Missoula only totaled six hits in the win, and not a single one of its four runs was an earned run. But they took advantage of three Centralia errors, and pitchers Connor Daniels and Drew Stensrud combined to only give up seven hits and one run each in the second and fifth innings.