Pick Off Attempt

Gallatin Valley first baseman Kyle Grevious fields the throw from home as Belgrade’s Cole Thomas dives safely back into the bag on a pick off attempt Tuesday at Imerys Field. Gallatin Valley and Belgrade split a Southern A doubleheader.

THREE FORKS — After taking a line drive to the left foot early in Game 2 Tuesday at Imery’s Field, Coby Richards fought through the pain.

The junior took a couple of practice pitches from the mound and then soldiered on in leading Belgrade to victory. The Bandits won the contest 5-2 to salvage a split against Gallatin Valley, which had won the opener 6-5.

“He is a tough kid,” Belgrade manager Johnny Graham said. “That ball off his foot and then he had a blister show up on his foot like a son of gun under his sock — just grinding through it. You wouldn’t know it. That kid is just a tough young man.”

Richards tossed a 4-hitter and struck out eight before being relieved in the seventh, and knocked in the game’s first run with a first inning double.

The Delivery

Gallatin Valley’s Bo Hays delivers a pitch during Game 2 of a Southern A twinbill against Belgrade on Tuesday.

“Our younger guys were a little over matched with Coby today,” longtime Gallatin Valley coach Duwayne Scott said. “But hopefully if we see him at districts we can make some adjustments.”

It was the final conference games of the season for the Bandits (33-13-1), who finished with a 17-3 record. They will finish no lower than the No. 2 seed heading into next week’s district tournament and could still move up the No. 1 seed depending on what happens with the Outlaws (31-14, 14-2), who has four league games remaining this weekend.

“We’ll take whatever seed we get and go compete at districts,” said Graham.

The Outlaws scored five runs in the bottom of the first in the opener and then held on to win. Belgrade scored twice in the third and then added two more runs in the fifth to get within 5-4.

But the Outlaws got a key double by Hunter Johnson in the bottom of the fifth, and he scored on the next at-bat when Michael Nehring singled. That proved to be the game-winning run after Belgrade trimmed the deficit back to one in the sixth.

Despite the early struggles, Graham was pleased with how his team battled back into the contest.

“I was real happy with Game 1,” he said. “We kept them around that five mark, we stayed grounded and we stayed within ourselves. I thought kids stayed confident as a group and to do that you have to be confident as individual. Got right back in that game and put ourselves in position to where we could have won it.”

The Bandits struck first in Game 2 with a pair of first inning runs. Cole Thomas scored the second on a passed ball.

Sprinting Home

Belgrade’s Seth Green sprints to home plate en route to scoring a run against Gallatin Valley on Tuesday.

While the Outlaws scored in the bottom half of the frame, they had limited success from there against Richards and committed a pair of costly errors defensively.

Easton Page and Marcos Verdeja each had a pair of hits in leading the Bandits’ offense, while Bo Hays scattered six hits and struck out six on the mound for Gallatin Valley. Hays also walked three batters and hit two more.

“That’s what happens when you get two good teams and teams take advantage of mistakes,” said Scott. “First game we were able to take advantage of some of their mistakes and second game they took advantage of our mistakes with walks, hit batters and stuff like that.”

Both teams also notched doubleheader sweeps of Livingston heading into Tuesday. The Outlaws posted 12-8 and 11-1 victories on Sunday, while Belgrade sweep the Braves 15-1 and 20-2 in make up games on Monday.

Gallatin Valley’s Kyle Grevious hit a pair of doubles in the opener against Livingston, while Lane Neill belted three triples for the Bandits in his team’s opener against Livingston.

Led by Grevious, who hit a home run and double in Game 2, the Outlaws also swept the Butte Miners 1-0 and 14-4 on July 2.

Belgrade played another make up game on July 3 against Bozeman A and posted a 12-1 five inning victory. Easton Page hit a triple in the victory.

Gallatin Valley hosts Bozeman A Saturday, and then wraps up the regular season Sunday at the Helena Reps.

Belgrade caps the regular season at the Boise Summer Classic Tournament in Boise, Idaho. Graham expects the four-day event to be a great lead in to the district tournament.

“Looking at our schedule, I know the teams we’re playing, they’re all well above average,” he said. “One of them was in the double A world series and returned a lot of kids.”

GVO controls own destiny for No. 1 seed

With four games remaining in the regular season this weekend, Gallatin Valley controls its own destiny for securing the No. 1 seed heading into next week’s Southern A District Tournament.

With doubleheader sweeps at home against Bozeman A on Saturday and on the road against the Helena Reps on Sunday, the Outlaws would finish 18-2 in league play.

Put Out

Gallatin Valley second baseman Brady Jones throws out a runner Tuesday against Belgrade.

If Gallatin Valley were to lose a game, then the No. 1 seed would come down to a tie-breaker with Belgrade. The Bandits finished 17-3 in conference and the team’s split their four regular season games, including Tuesday’s doubleheader.

“I was actually happy with the outcome,” Scott said. “It still puts us up a game on them going into this weekend, so hopefully we come to play. We still have something to play for, which I think will help drive these guys a little bit this weekend.”

The Outlaws (31-14) have been one of the hottest teams in Class A over the past month. Following a 6-9 start, they have won 25 of their past 30 games behind a talented pitching staff and veteran corps.

“We’ve been playing good baseball and I like I was just telling our guys, our pitching staff is one of the best pitching staffs we’ve had in probably the 21 years I’ve been here,” said Scott. “It’s probably in the top five pitching staffs we’ve ever had in this organization.

“Pitching’s not our problem. Sometimes we just like to let (opposing) pitchers off the hook offensively. I think once we change our approach and do some things we’ll be okay.”

While Gallatin Valley’s only conference losses have come to Belgrade, Scott noted that the eight-team district tournament will be very competitive. The five-day tournament begins July 18 at Heros Field in Bozeman, and the top two teams will advance to the State A tournament in Florence beginning July 27.

Belgrade 12, Bozeman 1

Belgrade                     127 2 0  -  12  9  2

Bozeman                     000 1x  -   1   2  1

Coby Richards and Seth Green. Kaden Thomson, Colter Russell (3) and Brooks Talbot. W - Richards. L - Thomson.

BELGRADE (30-12-1) - Easton Page 1-4 (3B), Cole Thomas 1-3, Brandon Matthews 1-3, Richards 2-4, Green 1-2, Lane Neill 1-2 (2B), Cooper VanLuchene 1-1, Isaiah Brandhorst 0-1, Marcos Verdeja 1-2.

BOZEMAN (24-20) - Liam Bailey 0-2, Preston Flieman 1-2 (2B), Talbog 0-2, Corbin Holzer 0-2, Rhett Hays 1-2, Ethan Faure 0-1, Reece Stanish 0-1, Ryan Barnes 0-1, Branden Tarabochia 0-1.

Gallatin Valley 1, Butte 0

Butte                         000 000 0  -  0  2  0

Gallatin Valley          000 100 x  -  1  5  1

Ryan Wahl and n/a. Michael Nehring and n/a. W - Nehring. L - Wahl.

BUTTE - Eagan Lester 1-3, Peyton Hettick 0-3, Wahl 0-3, Aidan Lee 1-3, Hunter Bugni 0-2, Rylan Richards 0-3, Ryan Burt 0-3, Casey Kautzman 0-2, Reece Cox 0-2.

GALLATIN VALLEY (26-13) - Connor Johnson 1-3, Kyle Grevious 0-3, Hunter Johnson 0-3, Nehring 1-3, Michael Jones 2-3, Gabriel Delgatty 1-3 (3B), Isaac Richardson 0-1, Bo Hays 0-1, Dalton Mitchell 0-1, Brady Jones 0-1.

Gallatin Valley 14, Butte 4

Butte                          202 00  -   4    6   2

Gallatin Valley           131 9x  -  14  11  2

Peyton Hettick, Kenley Leary (4) and n/a. Michael Jones, Bo Hays (4) and n/a. W - Hays. L - Hettick.

BUTTE - Eagan Lester 1-3, Hettick 3-3 (3B), Ryan Wahl 0-2, Aidan Lee 0-3, Hunter Bugni 0-2, Scout Allen 1-2, Coyt Stajcar 1-2, Leary 0-1, Kian O’Neill 0-2, Evan Staff 0-1.

GALLATIN VALLEY (27-13) - Connor Johnson 1-2, Kyle Grevious 3-4 (2B, HR), Hunter Johnson 2-3 (3B), Michael Nehring 1-2 (2B), Jones 0-3, Gabriel Delgatty 1-1 (3B), Isaac Richardson 0-3, Josh Wisecarver 1-3, Brady Jones 2-2, Hays 0-0.

Gallatin Valley 12, Livingston 8

Livingston               400 020 2  -  8  11  2

Gallatin Valley        132 411 x  -  12  9  3

Simon Coleman, Wyatt Saile (3), River Smith (4), David Osen (5), Jakob Cipriani (6) and n/a. Gabriel Delgatty, Bo Hays (7) and n/a. W - Delgatty. L - Coleman.

LIVINGSTON - Saile 0-5, Osen 2-3, Caid Cox 1-4, Smith 1-4, Robert Wolf 1-4 (2B), Scott Tatum 2-2, Coleman 1-3, Cipriani 0-0, Casey Miller 3-4 (2B), Max Stern 0-2, Brayden Duncan 0-0.

GALLATIN VALLEY (29-13) - Connor Johnson 1-4, Dalton Mitchell 0-2, Hunter Johnson 1-4, Kyle Grevious 2-3 (2 2B), Michael Jones 2-2, Delgatty 2-4 (2B), Isaac Richardson 1-4 (2B), Hays 0-3, Brady Jones 0-2.

Gallatin Valley 11, Livingston 1

Livingston                   001 00  -   1   4  1

Gallatin Valley            530 03  -  11  6  1

Robert Wolf, Casey Miller (1), Osen (3) and n/a. Caleb Kamerman and n/a. W - Wolf. L - Kamerman.

LIVINGSTON - Osen 1-1, Caid Cox 2-2, River Smith 0-2, Wolf 0-2, Scott Tatum 1-2, Wyatt Saile 0-2, Brayden Duncan 0-2, Jakob Cipriani 0-2, Darian Gilman 0-2.

GALLATIN VALLEY (30-13) - Connor Johnson 0-1, Dalton Mitchell 0-3, Hunter Johnson 0-1, Kyle Grevious 1-3, Michael Jones 2-4, Gabriel Delgatty 1-3 (HR), Isaac Richardson 0-2, Bo Hays 1-1, Josh Wisecarver 1-2.

Belgrade 15, Livingston 1

Belgrade                    504 15  -  15  12  0

Livingston                  001 00  -   1    2  4

Marcos Verdeja and n/a. River Smith and n/a. W - Verdeja. L - Smith.

BELGRADE (31-12-1) - Easton Page 2-3, Cole Thomas 1-3, Brandon Matthews 1-3, Coby Richards 3-4, Seth Green 1-3, Lane Neill 3-4 (3 3B), Cooper VanLuchene 0-4, Connor Reid 1-4, Isaiah Brandhorst 0-3.

LIVINGSTON (8-26) - David Osen 1-2, Caid Cox 1-2, Smith 0-2, Rob Wolf 0-2, Scott Tatum 0-1, Ben B. 0-1, Casey Miller 0-2, Simon C. Brayden Duncan 0-1, Wyatt Saile 0-2.

Belgrade 20, Livingston 2

Belgrade                    703 46  -  20  18  2

Livingston                  200 00  -   2    4   5

Mason Jacobsen and n/a. Scott Tatum, Caid Cox (4), Brayden Duncan (5) and David Osen. W - Jacobsen. L - Tatum.

BELGRADE (32-12-1) - Easton Page 2-4 (2B), Marcos Verdeja 3-3 (2B), Cole Thomas 3-4 (2B), Coby Richards 3-5 (2B), Lane Neill 3-5 (2B), Cooper VanLuchene 1-4, Jacobsen 2-4 (2B), Keaton Carter 1-2, Kash Fike 0-1.

LIVINGSTON (8-27) - Osen 0-2, Tatum 2-3, River Smith 0-3, Rob Wolf 1-2 (HR), Shane C. 0-1, Simon C. 0-2, Casey Miller 1-2 (2B), Duncan 0-2, Jakob Cipriani 0-1, Cox 0-1, Max S. 0-2.

Gallatin Valley 6, Belgrade 5

Belgrade                   002 021 0  -  5  7  0

Gallatin Valley          500 010 x  -  6  6  1

Cooper VanLuchene and Seth Green. Hunter Johnson, Michael Jones (5) and Jones, Johnson (5). W - Johnson. L - VanLuchene.

BELGRADE (32-13-1) - Green 1-3, Lane Neill 0-2, Mason Jacobsen 0-2, Isaiah Brandhorst 0-2, Marcos Verdeja 1-1, Easton Page 0-2, Cole Thomas 0-2, Brandon Matthews 3-3, Coby Richards 2-3 (2B).

GALLATIN VALLEY (31-13) - Isaac Richardson 1-3, Bo Hays 1-3, Dalton Mitchell 0-3, Connor Johnson 1-3, Jones 0-2, Kyle Grevious 1-3, Gabriel Delgattty 0-1, Hunter Johnson 1-2 (2B), Michael Nehring 1-2.

Belgrade 5, Gallatin Valley 2

Belgrade                   201 002 0  -  5  6  1

Gallatin Valley         101 000 0  -  2  4  2

Coby Richards, Lane Niell (7) and Seth Green. Bo Hays, Patrick Dietz (7) and Hunter Johnson. W - Richards. L - Hays.

BELGRADE (33-13-1) - Easton Page 2-4, Cole Thomas 0-2, Brandon Matthews 0-4, Richards 1-3 (2B), Green 1-2, Lane Neill 0-2, Cooper VanLuchene 0-3, Kash Fike 0-3, Marcos Verdeja 2-3 (2B).

GALLATIN VALLEY (31-14) - Connor Johnson 1-3, Kyle Grevious 0-3, Hunter Johnson 0-4, Michael Nehring 2-3, Michael Jones 1-3, Gabriel Delgattty 0-3, Isaac Richardson 0-2, Brady Jones 0-3, Dalton Mitchell 0-2.