BUTTE — The magic never ran out for the Butte Miners.
A week after claiming their first state championship since 1953, the Miners put a bow on their remarkable season by way of a 4-0 victory over the Minico Storm (Idaho) in the championship game of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament on Monday in Vernal, Utah.
The Miners went a perfect 13-0 throughout the postseason, earning a 3-0 record at the South A District, and 5-0 records at the state and regional tournaments in Jim LeProwse's first season as head coach.
"I don't think it's sunk in yet," LeProwse said by phone after the regional championship. "I keep thinking we have practice in two days, that's still what it feels like. It's been unreal."
Pitcher Trey Hansen earned the shutout win as Butte's defense was able work out of some jams as the offense — which scored three runs in the fourth inning to buy some breathing room — was unusually quiet after earning run-rule victories over most of its postseason opponents.
It's been a long string of playoff series for a Miners' team that hadn't been accustomed to playing this deep into August in a long time. But LeProwse said, heading into Monday, his team was eager and ready.
"We were excited, we were ready to take home the championship and confident," he said. "Unbelievable confidence. What they can do as a group together is just awesome."
LeProwse was already excited to take over Butte High's inaugural baseball team next spring. That anticipation is now at a fever pitch.
"We had some great success this year," he said. "I'm super excited about what we're going to do at Butte High and what we'll be able to do next year with the Legion program. A lot of the younger kids are going to want to be part of this."
LeProwse also expressed gratitude for the many fans that helped power the Miners through the playoffs.
"I want to thank the whole city of Butte, America for all their supports," LeProwse said. "And people in Montana in general. We had a lot of people from out of town telling us they're supporting us. It was just awesome.
"It was a great experience for the kids and the program. They sure made Butte proud."