Baseball

From left, Bozeman’s team consists of (standing) head coach Casey Fox, Calvin Counce, Weston Vincent, assistant coach David Wrench, Ryan Wrench, Kai Nuanez, Louie Kamps, Christian Landers, C.J. Fox, Grant Perry, Gabe Stordahl and assistant coach Adam Stordahl, as well as (kneeling) Collin Gross, Fay Wells-Minthorn and Isaac Mlinek and (up front) Titan Smith.

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Bozeman’s 13U Babe Ruth team won the Eastern Montana State Tournament in Belgrade on July 10 and 11 and will represent the state at the Pacific Northwest Babe Ruth Regional Tournament.

The regional will be held in Ferndale, Washington, from July 25-31 and will be played at the Lummi Nation Playfields. The winner advances to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, New York.

“These boys scrapped and clawed their way through this summer and came together to win this tournament,” Bozeman head coach Casey Fox said. “I am so proud of these boys. We weren’t even sure if we could scrape together enough kids to have a team, let alone be able to win games. But this group has just decided to compete. What a privilege it has been to coach these young men.”

The team worked throughout the summer, enduring losses and learning from mistakes along the way. They continued to practice and improve leading up to state.

Bozeman lost its first game of the state tournament to Belgrade, 14-1. Next, Bozeman took on Gallatin Valley. The game was tied 6-6 going into the sixth inning, when Bozeman erupted for seven runs to take the lead. Kai Nuanez and Isaac Mlinek started out that frame with a double and single. Titan Smith came in to pitch the final inning and held Gallatin Valley to two runs to finish out that contest with a win to advance to the championship.

In the title game, Bozeman took the early lead 3-0, but Belgrade fought back to take a 5-4 advantage going into the fourth. Bozeman exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good.

Ryan Wrench pitched the first three innings for Bozeman and C.J. Fox pitched the last four, giving up only one unearned run. Calvin Counce was 2 for 2 with two doubles and three RBIs to help lead Bozeman, which won the championship 10-6 to advance to regionals.

Casey Fox pointed out Bozeman fought and persevered even after an error.

“Our boys worked hard to keep a positive attitude, and that showed in this game,” he said. “Also, it helps that our pitchers did a great job keeping their batters guessing. We got timely hits this game, which we did not do the first time we played Belgrade. It was a true team effort.”

Those interested in supporting the team’s fundraising efforts can reach out at bozemanbaseball@gmail.com.

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

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