MISSOULA — The Missoula Mavericks’ race to a regular-season title and top seed at the Class AA American Legion Baseball state tournament hit a speed bump on Tuesday afternoon. Last-place Medicine Hat pulled off an upset at Linborg-Cregg Field, 8-6.
The Moose Monarchs were swept in a Monday doubleheader in Missoula, scoring a total of three runs in two losses, but they scored two in each the second and third innings to take a 4-1 lead on Tuesday. Jaden Schwindt drove in a run with a triple. After an RBI groundout, Drew Niwa brought in two more with a double to the left-center gap to give the Moose Monarchs an 8-1 advantage.
Missoula started a comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Bridger Johnson delivered a double with the bases loaded, driving in all three runners to cut the lead to four. The game remained 8-4 into the seventh and final inning. Brendon Hill and Dane Fraser led off the inning with base hits to make it 8-5. After two flyouts and another hit from Johnson, Drew Stensrud ripped a single to left to bring in another run. The Mavericks had the tying run on first, but Joel Herron froze Andrew Clausen for a strikeout to end the game.
The win moves Medicine Hat to 5-16 in league play. The Moose Monarchs have three games left in the regular season. The Mavericks fall to 16-4 but remain in first place. They’ll host second-place Bozeman on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before finishing the season with three games in Lethbridge.