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Helena Senators, Billings Scarlets advance to Class AA Legion state championship

AA Legion Tuesday.jpg
Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 25, 2023

MISSOULA — The Class AA Legion state baseball tournament is nearing its conclusion, and it'll be the Helena Senators taking on the Billings Scarlets for the championship.

On Tuesday in Missoula, the Scarlets took down the Missoula Mavericks 7-0 to punch their ticket to Wednesday's finale, while the Senators topped the Great Falls Chargers 6-0 to advance as well.

The Scarlets were led by a strong performance on the mound by Nolan Berkram. Berkram pitched a complete game shutout, going seven innings and allowing just four hits while striking out seven and walking one.

The Scarlets broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning with five runs, including a three-RBI triple from Hunter Doyle. Nate McDonald was walked with the bases loaded to start the scoring in the inning, and Billings never looked back.

Rocco Gioioso also drove in a run for the Scarlets in the game.

Helena scored two runs to open the second game with a lead and ran away from there. The Senators would tack on two more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings as well.

Tycen Mooney went 2 for 4 with an RBI double while Aaron Fuzesy, Carter Perlinski, Manu Melo, Brayden Beatty and Sam Ark also drove in runs. Lance Bratlien went the full seven innings for Helena on the mound, allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out six and walking four.

The Senators and Scarlets will meet at 1 p.m. in Missoula on Wednesday in the championship game. Should the Scarlets win that game, the two will play again at 4 p.m.