Bozeman hadn’t been in this position recently.

The Bucks, in fact, never trailed during their undefeated Class AA tournament run that led to a state championship. But in the first game of the regional tournament a week removed from that victory, Bozeman fell behind by two runs from the top of the first inning.

So manager Garrett Schultz was happy the Bucks not only faced the challenge but responded.

Bozeman scored five unanswered runs to defeat Lakeside Recovery (Washington) 5-2 in the first round of the Northwest Regional Tournament on Wednesday in Lewiston, Idaho.

The Bucks advanced to a second-round game at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“To be able to be down two runs early and right away respond and then add on and add on, we played good baseball down the stretch. For that game, that was a big deal,” Schultz said. “We were able to come back and stay tough.”

Lakeside Recovery scored right away on a two-run single to left field. And the Bucks (52-16) appeared they weren’t ready to bounce back immediately. Schultz thought the unsuccessful start wasn’t a product of nervousness but rather finding focus after a long bus ride, not having played recently and not having experience against their opponent.

“They played well early, but we didn’t cave when we had the opportunities to cave, and we didn’t compound mistakes,” Schultz said. “I’m really proud of our guys for staying tough, not giving in and avoiding that snowball effect in the wrong direction.”

With two outs in the bottom of the first, Alton Gyselman belted a first-pitch single to right field, driving in two runs and tying the score. Schultz highlighted that moment as a turning point.

While the Bucks totaled nine hits, none were for extra bases. So they had to score anyway they could.

Bozeman took the lead in the fourth when Preston Fliehman scored on error and Kelher Murfitt stole home. The Bucks added the final run of the game in the fifth when Carsten Simcox singled to left to drive in Finn Snyder.

“We already accomplished our main goal of winning the state tournament, but it’s just getting back to playing baseball. We settled in the third and fourth innings,” Schultz said. “We had a week off and had some off days, but just getting back to the swing of things and I think tomorrow is going to be better for us.”

And Hunter Williams took over after the first inning. He lasted until the seventh, allowing no earned runs on five hits while striking out six batters and walking three in 6 1/3 innings. Michael Freund allowed one hit and no runs for the final two outs of the contest.

“Hunter Williams was good again from the mound,” Schultz said. “The first couple innings, we weren’t overly sharp at the start and had some missed plays early, but we stayed with it and got a lot better as the game went on. And we finished strong.”

Snyder finished 2 for 3 with two runs. Gyselman was 2 for 3 with his two RBIs. Fliehman ended 2 for 3 with a run scored. Ben Hubley and Zander Petrich each added a hit.

Schultz was happy multiple players contributed at the plate. He hopes that continues for the rest of the tournament.

“I think it’s understanding from the start we belong here, and we’re good enough to beat these teams,” Schultz said. “Just coming out ready to go. We played well overall on the day, good enough to win a regional game against a good team. But we can definitely sharpen up our defense a little bit.

“It’s going to be another good ball game tomorrow.”

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