BELGRADE — It was an under-the-lights regular-season finale at Medina Field on Friday as the Belgrade baseball team hosted East Helena. Belgrade finished its schedule with an 18-8 victory in six innings.
There were three runs scored in the bottom of the first for Belgrade, with two coming from Jayden Jacksha and Brody Jacksha, who were batted in by Cam Euland. The skies cleared up in the second inning, and things seemed to turn for the Vigilantes.
East Helena scored eight runs in the top of the second, with one coming from Eli Fox and Tucker Petty brought in another. The Panthers knew they had to respond, and that they did by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second.
A major highlight coming from Gage Banks batting in Keenan Kraft and Gideon Green. It was all Belgrade from there; the Vigilantes wouldn’t score again despite the huge second inning.
Belgrade coach Joel Barnett was proud of his team ending the regular season on a strong note, but knows they cannot allow that many runs at the beginning of a game going forward into the state tournament next week in Butte.
“We've got to be better defensively; that’s how we dug ourselves that hole," he said. "I know our lineups going to string hits together. It’s a real scary lineup. We’re going to run the bases well, and we’re going to bunt well. So, we just got to stop digging ourselves a whole defensively.”
“That’s just who we are, and who we’re going to continue to be: super aggressive all the time," Barnett said about his team's tenacity. "I can live with them being aggressive. That’s what we really need to have happen.”
The Panthers have locked up that No. 1 seed from the East division going into state next week. They will face Hamilton in Butte for their first-round matchup.