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Billings Blue Jays, Belgrade win again at Class A state Legion tournament

Aidan Kulbeck game winner
Billings Blue Jays State A Tournament
Posted at 12:29 AM, Jul 28, 2023

LAUREL — Four teams remained undefeated going into Thursday at the State A Legion Tournament.

Two teams were victorious after a long day of play and will face off tomorrow night in the final brawl of the undefeated.

It was an afternoon that lasted well into the night with the final game seeing two weather delays that pushed play to over three and a half hours.

Billings 5, Glacier 1

In the first winner's bracket match-up of the day it was the one seed out of the west, the Glacier Twins, taking on the two seed out of the east, the Billings Blue Jays.

And it was Billings from the jump, the first two runs of the game came off a single from Ryder Murdock in the top of the first.

Glacier responds in the bottom of the inning, Jacob McIntyre sacrificed to left field on a fly ball, and the Twins scored to cut the deficit in half.

Billings continued to tack on unanswered runs, however. One more run came in the third from Murdock on an RBI single that sent in Camden Wilson.

The Blue Jays found another score in the fifth to further their lead to 4-1.

In the sixth the bases were loaded with two outs, and the Blue Jays will walk which automatically sent in the final run of the game to further the lead to 5-1.

On Friday, Billings will face Belgrade at 7 p.m., and Glacier will face Lethbridge at 1 p.m.

Belgrade 3, Laurel 2

The one seed out of the south, the Belgrade Bandits, took on the one seed out of the east, the Laurel Dodgers, in a game that lasted over three and a half hours and saw two weather delays.

Despite being the host team, it was determined that Belgrade would be the home team this game by the coin flip.

There was no scores through two innings of play, and that's when the first weather delay of the game came due to lightning.

The teams entered the third inning nearly an hour later, and Diego Casas scored the first run of the game in the third off a wild pitch for the Bandits to take a 1-0 lead.

The teams saw no more scores before the second and final delay of the game came in the middle of the fifth inning, this time for rain.

Laurel came out of that delay ready to score. They sent two runners home in the sixth to take their first lead of the game 2-1.

But the game reached the bottom of the seventh, and Diego Casas was the first player to step up to the plate for his team. He singled on a fly ball to center field and steals second a few plays later.

He then scored off an error from Laurel off a ground ball hit by Keenan Kraft to tie the game 2-2. Kraft reached second off the same error, which set him up in scoring position.

Yesterday, Aidan Kulbeck hit a grand slam. Tonight, he hit a game winner to keep his team undefeated at the state tournament.

Kulbeck hit a ground ball and reached off an error, which allowed Kraft to score and Belgrade to seal their 3-2 victory.

The Bandits pitcher, Gavin Waters, hit exactly the limit of 105 pitches Thursday night and only let up two hits while on the mound.

He locked down in the seventh and didn't let up a run after both of Laurel's came in the sixth to put Belgrade in their best position to take back a lead and win.

On Friday, Belgrade plays Billings at 7 p.m. Laurel falls to the loser-out bracket and plays Butte at 1 p.m.

Butte 14, Havre 1

In the first loser-out game of the day, the Butte Miners run-ruled the Havre Northstars in the fifth inning. Butte will play Laurel at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Lethbridge 8, Mission Valley 2

The Lethbridge Miners beat the Mission Valley Mariners in the final loser-out game of the day. They'll face Glacier at 1 p.m. tomorrow.