MISSOULA — Walker Bennett's three-run double and Will Lyng's commanding performance on the mound helped lift the Helena Senators to a 6-4 victory over the Billings Scarlets in the undefeated semifinal game at the Montana-Alberta Class AA Legion baseball state tournament Monday at Lindborg-Cregg Field.
With the victory, Helena is now 3-0 at the tourney and is the only unbeaten of the four teams still vying for the title. It also secured a place for the Senators in Wednesday's state championship round regardless of what happens Tuesday.
The Senators on Tuesday will play Great Falls, which eliminated Medicine Hat earlier Monday, at 7 p.m. Billings suffered its first defeat of the tourney and will take on Missoula in a loser-out game Tuesday at 4. The Mavericks knocked out Bozeman on Monday.
With his team trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the third, Bennett ripped a bases-clearing double to the left-center field gap to plate three runs and give Helena a 5-3 lead. The Senators got an insurance run later in the inning on an RBI double by Cole Graham.
The Scarlets had led 3-0 in the second inning, but those runs were all unearned for Lyng. The Senators' starter ended up throwing 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits with one earned run and four strikeouts to earn the victory. Reliever Seth Nielsen got the final out of the seventh inning to earn the save.
Helena is seeking its second state title in the past three years.