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State baseball tournament begins in Butte

The Whitefish Bulldogs celebrate after their quarterfinal victory. (Photo: NBC Montana)
The Whitefish Bulldogs celebrate after their quarterfinal victory. (Photo: NBC Montana)
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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.

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