LIBBY — The Mission Valley Mariners and Glacier Twins used late rallies to pick up first-round wins at the Western A American Legion Baseball district tournament. The Bitterroot Red Sox and hosting Libby Loggers didn’t need any drama.
Sixth-seeded Mission Valley started the day with an extra-innings win over No. 3-seed Kalispell. The Mariners and Lakers were tied 4-4 after seven innings. Then Trevor Lake hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth, driving in Xavier Fisher and giving Mission Valley the 5-4 victory. Fisher went 3-for-4 in the contest.
The seventh-seeded Missoula Mavericks almost pulled off a huge upset over defending state champion and No. 2-seed Glacier in Game 2. Ian Finch drove in two runs with a double to put the Mavs up 5-4 in the top of the sixth. The Twins still trailed by that score with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Then Coby Clark tripled to drive in the tying run. Austyn Andrachick, the next batter, drove in Clark on an infield single, which gave Glacier a 6-4 walk-off win.
The top-seeded Bitterroot Red Sox made quick work of the rival Bitterroot Bucs, 12-2 in a game that ended in the bottom of the sixth due to the 10-run rule. Nick Draper drove in four runs for the Red Sox, while Dillon Pilkerton went 3-for-4 with a couple RBI and three runs scored. Leadoff batter Tyler Davis scored four times.
The hosts finished the night with a bang. Fifth-seeded Libby scored 11 runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull away from No. 4-seed Cranbrook, British Columbia. The Loggers dominated 20-3. Cranbrook trailed just 4-3 going into the fourth, but the Loggers scored four in the inning to build the lead. Then 15 batters came to the plate in the final inning, collecting eight hits. Shayne Walker finished 4-for-6 with three RBI. Aydan Williamson and Tucker Masters each drove in four runs for the Loggers.
The tournament continues with four more games on Friday. Kalispell and Missoula battle in a loser-out game at 10 a.m. The Bitterroot Bucs and Cranbrook Bandits look to bounce back and stay alive at 1 p.m. Mission Valley meets Glacier in the winner’s bracket at 4 p.m. Then the Red Sox and Loggers wrap up the evening at 7 p.m.