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THREE FORKS — After allowing two runs in the top of the third, Belgrade wasted little time responding.

The Bandits batted around in the bottom half of the frame en route to scoring nine times. That burst lifted top-seeded Belgrade to a 13-2 rout of Anaconda in a first-round game at the Southern A District Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

“Great answer right there,” Belgrade manager Johnny Graham said. “I thought it was a collection of good ABs, quality at-bats. I thought our base running was exceptional that inning, so it just kind of all tied together.”

The Bandits (35-15) advanced in the winners bracket and will play Bozeman A at 2 p.m. Friday at Imerys Field. The No. 4-seeded Bucks (22-27) shut out Dillon, 10-0, in their first-round game.

Jackson Burke threw a no-hitter in Bozeman’s five-inning shutout win. Burke tallied two strikeouts and walked just one batter in the complete game, and 64% of his 58 pitches were strikes.

The Bucks broke the game open with a five-run third inning that included a two-run double by Dillon Coleman. The Bucks added two more runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Michael Armstrong was 2 for 2 to go with two runs scored and ended the game with a one-run double. Daniel Beers added two runs, including the final score. Zane Haarer and Andrew Western each added one hit.

“They’re a good opponent,” Graham said of the Bucks. “They’ve got good players, they’re tough competition and they’re tough to beat. So we got to come out and play good baseball if we want to leave with a win.”

Belgrade scored twice in the first inning Thursday, but Anaconda tied the contest at 2 in the third. Wyatt Russell struggled on the mound but got out of more trouble after the A’s put runners on second and third with no outs by retiring three consecutive batters.

Russell was relieved in the fourth by Caleb Hoppe, who made just his second appearance with the Bandits’ A team this season. He allowed just one hit and recorded a pair of strikeouts in a 20-pitch performance.

“I thought Russell did what we were hoping. We were going to keep him at 60 (pitches) or less, and he allowed us to get him out of there with the lead. So credit to him,” Graham said. “And Hoppe came in and did a heck of a job I thought. Caleb’s going to be a really, really good arm. I think both those kids are.”

The Bandits broke the contest open by scoring all nine runs with two outs in the single frame. The offensive onslaught was highlighted by an RBI triple from Alex Casas and a bases-loaded double from Cooper VanLuchene that knocked in three runs.

Belgrade also capitalized on four walks, two hit batters and three passed balls by Nate Blodnick. The A’s pitcher finished with seven walks while allowing 11 earned runs on just five hits.

Lane Neill and VanLuchene each had two hits for the Bandits. Coby Richards was 1 for 2 and drove in three runs.

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Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.