GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Chargers ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak, taking down the Kalispell Lakers in a doubleheader Tuesday in their final homestand.
The Chargers finished the regular season at 13-11 in the conference while the Lakers dropped down to 10-14 after the road trip. Both teams will be in Missoula on Saturday for the start of the Class AA state tournament.
The Chargers opened up the series with an 11-1 mercy-rule win in the fifth inning. The Lakers got on the board first in the opening inning on an RBI double from Oscar Kallis. The Chargers would then tie the ball game as Landon Lockwood drove in a run to put them on the board.
Seamus Sullivan started the bottom of the second inning with a triple, and that led to a run scored after a sacrifice fly. The Lakers came up with two outs and nearly get out the inning but the Chargers' Liam Sullivan stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI double for a 3-1 lead. It wasn’t until the fifth that the bats really got hot for Great Falls. They took an 8-1 lead, then Brinkley Evans stole the show with a three-run blast to enforce the mercy rule and end the game.
Game 2 went the full seven innings but Chargers’ Austin Armstrong held his own on the mound and only gave up 4 hits throughout the entire game, leading to a 6-0 shutout win. Sullivan and Brinkley Evans led the way at the plate with two hits each, but Evans and Scotty Klinker combined for all five of the team's RBIs.
The final game of the regular season would not be decided as easily as the first two games of this series. Lakers scored two runs to start the game but the Chargers responded with a 3-run inning to take the lead. Kalispell added a four more runs in the second for their biggest inning of the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Kallis took ball four and that evened the score at 3. Carter Schlegel then took matters into his own hands and went deep into the outfield, driving in three more runs as he made his way to third base for a triple and giving the Lakers a 6-3 lead.
They were able to hold on to the lead until the bottom of the fourth. The Chargers trailed 7-5 entering the inning but a Landon Lockwood RBI and steal of home tied it 7-7. Mason Davis would give the lead back to the Chargers on an infield bunt that allowed Seamus Sullivan to score from third. They would eventually take an 11-7 lead into the final inning.
The Lakers added a run in the seventh to make it a three-run game. They proceeded to load the bases with only one out on the board, forcing the Chargers to make a defensive switch and put Noah Banderob on the mound. Max Holden got it to a full count before Banderob caught him looking for the strikeout to end the game at 11-8.