BUTTE, Mont. — Thursday was a historic day in Butte, as Montana’s first ever all-class state baseball tournament got underway with four quarterfinal matchups.
The first contest was a thriller featuring the hometown Butte High Bulldogs and the visiting Florence-Carlton Falcons, who actually served as the home team because of their better seeding.
The Bulldogs trailed 5-2 after four innings, but scored 1 in the fifth and 2 in the seventh to force an extra frame. Butte was unable to score in the top half of the inning, allowing the Falcons to win via walk-off, 6-5.
Thursday’s second quarterfinal was another classic, with Lincoln County and Polson vying to face off against the Falcons in the semifinals at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
Polson scored 4 in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-4 lead, and that would end up being the final score.
Game three was a runaway victory for Whitefish, who scored 5 runs in the bottom of the first, allowing them to cruise past Frenchtown, 7-2.
Jacob Polumbus was outstanding on the mound for Whitefish, pitching a complete game and allowing just six hits and a walk while striking out 7.
And in the nightcap, Hamilton and Belgrade traded blows early before the Broncs pulled away in the final few innings, as they triumphed 12-6.
Jacob Westberry had a superb game on the mound and at the plate for Hamilton, as he allowed three hits in six innings on defense and drove in three runs on two hits and a walk on offense.
Hamilton will take on Whitefish on noon Friday in the second semifinal.
Both semifinals will take place at 3 Legends Stadium, while the two loser-out games will take place just a few hundred feet away at Field 4 of the Copper Mountain Recreation Complex.
Butte will play Lincoln County at noon, while Frenchtown will face Belgrade at 9:30 a.m.