LAUREL — It's day one of five for the Class A Legion State baseball tournament. Eight teams that hail from four different districts all earned their right to come together on Wednesday at Thompson Park to commence what is some of the best baseball in the state.
Following is a roundup of the first round:
Glacier 1, Butte 0
The first game of the day was a pitching showdown between the No. 1 seed out of the West, the Glacier Twins, and the 2 seed out of the South, the Butte Miners.
The sole run came in the bottom of the first from Michael Glass off a hit from Jacob McIntrye who got to first. Despite loading the bases midway through the game and having a chance to advance the lead, Rye Doherty locked down on the mound for the Miners and the Twins did not score again.
Meanwhile, Glacier pitcher Kellen Kroger threw a shutout, striking out 12 while giving up three hits and one walk in seven innings. The Miners were in scoring position in the sixth and the seventh, but fell short.
Glacier plays the Billings Blue Jays at 4 p.m. on Thursday, and Butte plays Havre in a loser-out game at 10 a.m.
Belgrade 7, Mission Valley 3
The bats were much hotter in the second game of the day between the 1 seed out of the South, the Belgrade Bandits, and the 2 seed out of the West, the Mission Valley Mariners.
The first score of the game came from Aidan Kulbeck off Cam Ueland's RBI single. The Bandits continued their momentum and would score two more runs in the third.
The major highlight of the game for — and the season — for Belgrade came in the fourth, once again from Kulbeck when he hit a grand slam to left field, sending in Wyatt Russell, Diego Casas and Keenan Kraft.
The Mariners finally got their groove at bat in the sixth, scoring three runs. Landon Shoemake, Cole Wadsworth and Espn Fischer all crossed home.
Belgrade plays Laurel at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and Mission Valley plays Lethbridge at 1 p.m. in a loser-out game.
Billings Blue Jays 10, Havre 9
In a long game of back and forth, the two seed out of the east, the Billings Blue Jays, prevails against one seed out of the east, the Havre Northstars, in the third game of the day.
After no scores in the first inning, it's Havre who comes out and scores six runs in the top of the second.
In the bottom of the inning, Billings is quick to respond with five runs of their own.
After more scoring in the third, they stayed tied at seven apiece until the seventh.
That's when Havre took an 8-7 with a home run from Brody Nanini. They'll further their lead another run when Ezra Pyle then scores on a sacrifice from Jevin Jenkins.
Billings will score three runs as a response to close the game, the winning score from Anthony Williams off of Chaise Tracy's double.
Billings plays Glacier at 4 p.m. tomorrow, and Havre plays Butte in a loser-out game at 10 a.m.
Laurel 9, Lethbridge 6
The top seed out of the East and the host team, the Laurel Dodgers, took down the 2 seed out of the North, the Lethbridge Miners in the last game of the first day.
The Dodgers scored in each of the first three innings of the game. Those first few runs came from Evan Caton, Jace Buchanan and Tanner Knaub crossing home.
Lethbridge would get on the board in the second with a run coming from Willis Takahashi.
The Dodgers would hold a solid 9-2 lead going into the final inning, but that's when Lethbridge started heating up. Despite the four runs scored for the Miners, Laurel held on.
Laurel plays Belgrade at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and Lethbridge plays Mission Valley at 1 p.m. in a loser-out game.