BUTTE — First-year Butte Miners coach Jim LeProwse knows that the future of baseball in the Mining City is bright.
"It's definitely a great thing for Butte baseball," LeProwse said shortly after the Miners stymied the Billings Cardinals for a 12-2 five-inning victory in the State A Legion championship on Sunday.
"I'm excited about the young kids that are going to be coming up and be part of our program," LeProwse continued. "I'm excited. It should be another great year."
LeProwse, and everyone involved with baseball in Butte, has good reason to be optimistic. A week after the Butte Junior All-Stars claimed the state title, the Butte Miners followed that up with a state championship of their own, ending a championship drought that extended to 1953.
"It's amazing," said first baseman Aidan Lee, who was named the tournament's batting champion. "There's no words I can really put it in. Super happy and I'm glad we could do it for Butte."
Shortly after bringing a Legion crown to Butte for the first time since before any of his players parents — and possibly grandparents — were born, LeProwse gathered his team and gave them a simple message.
"I know we can win regionals," he said.
Butte now heads to Utah for the Northwest Regional tournament which begins on Friday. The Miners will open the tournament against Redmond, Oregon at 1 p.m. Butte will enter the tournament with belief and momentum on their side.
"We 10-runned every team we played in this tournament," Lee said. "So we're gonna go in confident and for sure we're gonna hope to win that too."
"I'm excited to see what this team can do," said tournament MVP Kenley Leary. "I think we're a pretty dangerous team going in."