In their final games of the regular season, the Loggers saw victory and defeat in a doubleheader against the Missoula Mavericks Friday, with the first game stretching 10 full innings to a 3-2 Libby win.
After the win, and even with the 7-3 loss in the second game, Logger Manager Kelly Morford agreed Libby had shown how hard they could be to beat.
“We’re kind of two different teams, one that can play really solid, then for some reason sometimes we just start making silly mistakes,” Morford said. “But what I just told them, the thing about those silly mistakes, they’re easy to fix.”
There were errors in the first game, but not many, and though it lasted 10 innings, the game itself breezed through relatively quickly with tough defenses on both teams keeping the innings short.
“We kept making good pitches and making good plays defensively — the fact that we did it continually in a pressure situation like that, was exactly what we needed, because we’ve been having trouble with that,” Morford said.
And it makes for a more enjoyable game for everyone involved as well, he said.
“It’s easy to say it would’ve been fun either way because we won, but really, that’s what baseball’s all about, and it was a great battle by both teams, and just fun to be a part of,” he said.
Missoula took an early lead in the top of the first inning, after a walk from a hit by pitch with the bases loaded brought Missoula’s Bridger Johnson home. But Libby pitcher Shayne Walker struck out the next batter, and a fly out to left fielder Caden Williams stopped further progress for the Mavericks.
Two half innings passed with one Missoula hit and no runs.
Then in the bottom of the second, Moxley Roesler-Begalke smacked a hard line drive into center field for an RBI double. Then, with Roesler-Begalke on third, Austin McCully hit a ground ball to shortstop, and was out at first by barely a hair to end the inning and leave the score tied.
The Mavericks couldn’t get a ball out of the infield in the third, and the loggers kicked off the bottom of the inning with a double from Tim Carvey off a fly ball to center field. Walker came in two plays later to single on a grounder to right field, and Carvey scored the second Libby run.
The Logger lead held through the fourth, as both teams battled to get past the other’s defense.
The top of the fifth saw some excitement on the second out. An attempt to steal on a strike had Missoula’s Johnson near second when Carvey, at shortstop, chased him down, tagging him out only feet short of making it back safe to first.
But the Mavericks’ Drew Stensrud followed with an RBI and a double on a left field fly that reached the fence, giving Brent DeMinck time to reach home from first.
In the bottom of the inning, the Loggers hit hard and far, but not far enough. Johnson was in left field to catch the final out, sprinting into center field to make the catch.
The Loggers and Mavericks battled into extra innings, denying any attempt to score.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Loggers made it into scoring position with Trey Thompson on third after he stole the base on a wild pitch. But a fielder’s choice ended the inning with Thompson still on base.
In the eighth, Roesler-Begalke took the mound, and a ground out heading toward right field was snatched up by Thompson for an out at first to end the half inning. In the bottom of the inning, Williams started off play with a double on a left field fly, but was picked off on the next pitch.
Thompson singled on a line drive to left field as the first to bat in the ninth, and McCully got him to second with a sacrifice bunt, but the Loggers ended the inning with the score still tied.
With the final inning upon them, the Mavericks tried once more to break the tie in the 10th.
With a man on first and second, Missoula’s DeMinck made an attempt to steal third. Catcher Quade Anderson snapped the ball to third baseman Garrett Gollahon for the first out. A fielder’s choice to McCully at second got them the second out, and Missoula was left with a single runner at first.
Another fielder’s choice on a grounder to Gollahon ended the half inning with an out at third and the score still tied.
In the bottom of the inning, Walker hit a fly ball toward second base, reaching first on an error after the catch was dropped, then stole second on a dropped ball.
With an out on the board, Missoula swapped in Jake Lintner on the hill. Williams followed with single off a hard ground ball to left field.
Then Jeff Offenbecher stepped up to the plate. From pitch to pitch, the count climbed, until Offenbecher was facing a 3-2 count.
Then came the moment the Loggers had fought for through 10 innings: Offenbecher singled on a grounder to center field, sending Walker home for the win.
Early in the second game, the two teams seemed locked in the battle that had defined most of their first game.
Three scoreless innings passed by, with only a single hit for each team. Then, in the top of the fourth, the Loggers got themselves into trouble.
Things started smoothly with the first out. running in from third, Roesler-Begalke swept up a bunt for the throw to Thompson and an out at first.
But then a collision in right field between Walker and Offenbecher led to a dropped fly that cascaded into additional errors that gave the Mavericks the first run of the game.
In left field, a convergence of players missed a fly caught in the glare of the sun, and Missoula made the score 2-0. Then an attempt to pick off a runner at second turned against Libby with an error and a third run.
With the score 3-0, Carvey struck out the next batter to bring the half inning to a close.
Despite Thompson making a single on a line drive to centerfield, the Loggers weren’t able to come back in the bottom of the inning.
The fifth only gave Libby more bad news, when, with two outs and bases loaded, Cole Murphy was just short of catching a fly to left field. The Mavericks made 2 RBIs off the play, and followed with a two more on a line drive double to right field.
Carvey finally closed the scoring down with a strikeout, but Libby now trailed Missoula 7-0.
In the bottom of the inning and with two outs on the board, Walker gave answer with a two-RBI single on a hard ground ball to third, sending Auge and Carvey in to score.
With Williams taking the mound, the Loggers held Missoula in the top of the sixth, allowing only one hit. A Maverick error with two outs in the bottom of the inning allowed Carvey to reach first and Thompson to score, making it 7-3, Missoula.
Missoula’s Cayden Jordan started off the seventh with a triple, but it was to be the only hit of the half inning, and he was stuck on base after two ground outs and a strikeout.
But the Loggers were unable to do any better in the bottom of the inning, securing no hits, and ending the game 7-3, Missoula.
Though many of the runs scored against the Loggers could be traced back to mistakes on the field, Morford said most of the inning the Logger defense performed as they had in the first game.
“With the district tournament, we don’t have to do anything that we haven’t done all year, we just need to do it more consistently, and stay away from those silly mistakes, and I think we can do that,” Morford said.
Libby vs Missoula
Friday, July 20
Libby 3, Missoula 2
M 100 010 000 0 - R:2 H:3 E:1
L 011 000 000 1 - R:3 H:13 E:4
L: Tim Carvey 5-1, 1R, 1K; Quade Anderson 4-1, 1BB; Shayne Walker 4-2, 1R, 1BB; Garrett Gollahon 5-0, 1K; Caden Williams 5-2, 1K; Jeff Offenbecher 5-2, 1R; Moxley Roesler-Begalke 4-2, 1K; Trey Thompson 4-3; Austin McCully 2-0;
M: Bridger Johnson 4-0, 1R, 1BB; Brent DeMinck 3-1, 1R, 2BB; Drew Stensrud 3-1, 2BB, 1K; Jake Lintner 5-1; Cayden Jordan 3-0, 1BB; Zach Hangas 4-0, 2K; Clayton Long 1-0; Kellan Feeley 4-0; Andrew Claussen 4-0; Dayton Bay 4-0, 2K
Batting: 2B - Carvey, Offenbecher, Williams; Stensrud; TB - Anderson, Carvey 2, Offenbecher 3, Roesler-Begalke 2, Thompson 3, Walker 2, Williams 3; DeMinck, Stensrud 2, Lintner; ROE - Walker; Johnson 3, Hangas; RBI - Offenbecher, Roesler-Begalke, Walker; Stensrud, Jordan
Pitching: W - Walker 7, 101 P, .554 S%, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 SO, 4 BB; Roesler-Begalke 3, 38 P, .447 S%, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 2 BB; L - Stensrud 9.1, 96 P, .729 S%, 12 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 SO, 2 BB; Lintner 0, 6 P, .500 S%, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB
Missoula 7, Libby 3
M 000 340 0 - R:7 H:9 E:2
L 000 021 0 - R:3 H:7 E:2
M: Bridger Johnson 3-1, 1K; Brent DeMinck 2-0, 1R, 2BB, 1K; Drew Stensrud 4-1, 2R, 1K; Jake Lintner 2-0, 1R, 1BB; Cayden Jordan 3-1, 1R, 1BB; Clayton Long 4-2, 2R; Alex Certel 4-2, 1K; Andrew Claussen 4-1; Dayton Bay 3-1, 2K
L: Tim Carvey 4-1, 1R; Quade Anderson 4-0; Shayne Walker 3-1; Garrett Gollahon 4-1, 1K; Jeff Offenbecher 2-0, 1K; Austin McCully 2-0; Moxley Roesler-Begalke 3-0, 1K; Trey Thompson 2-2, 1R; Joe Reynolds 1-0; Cole Murphy 2-1, 1K; Caden Williams 1-1; Chris Auge 1-0, 1R; Ayden Williamson 1-0
Batting: 2B - Certel; Carvey; 3B - Jordan; TB - Johnson, Stensrud, Jordan 3, Claussen, Bay, Long 2, Certel 3; Carvey 2, Gollahon, Murphy, Thompson 2, Walker, Williams; ROE - Carvey 2; RBI - Long 2, Certel 3; Walker 2
Pitching: W - Lintner 7, 95 P, .674 S%, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 SO, 0 BB; L - Carvey 5, 86 P, .547 S%, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 SO, 4 BB; Williams 2, 32 P, .594 S%, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 SO, 0 BBP