Missoula Mavericks win AA State Legion Baseball Tournament - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Missoula Mavericks win AA State Legion Baseball Tournament

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BOZEMAN -

The Missoula Mavericks already had their ticket to the Northwest Regional Legion Baseball Tournament punched. Now, they'll enter the tournament as the Montana state champions after beating the Bozeman Bucks 4-3 on Sunday.

The Mavs struck first, opening the scoring in the top of the third inning, on Drew Leonard's one out grounder to second base. The Bucks failed to turn the double play and James Martin raced home to give the Mavs a 1-0 lead.

The Bucks would answer back in the bottom half of the inning, to take a 2-1 lead after three innings of play. Morgan Hostetler drove in Bozeman's first run on a single through the infield and out to right. Andy Purpura followed that up with a fielder's choice grounder, which scored Bailey Paddock from third.

After a scoreless fourth, the Mavs would even things back up in the top half of the fifth inning. Brenden Buchanan would hit a fielder's choice of his own, opening the door for Spencer Schock to make a break for home.

Missoula would retake the lead in the sixth, as Dane Fraser hit a monster double out to deep left field. Nick Yovetich would score from second, giving the Mavs a 3-2 lead after five and a half innings of play.

The Bucks would answer back quickly in the bottom half of the frame, on a monster home run from Hostetler. The solo shot evened things back up at three.

But the Mavs would take the lead for good in the seventh. Beau King delivered the go-ahead run on a double to the wall out in right field. Buchanan sped home from first to give the Mavs the 4-3 lead.

And standout pitcher Nick Yovetich would clean things up from there, keeping the Bucks from getting anywhere near home plate. The Bucks would get one last shot in the ninth, with Michael Freund reaching second on a Mavs error. But Yovetich would get Tyler Dobie to ground out to end the game.

Yovetich's performance on the mound earned him tournament MVP honors, as he went 9 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 3.

Both the Mavs and the Bucks advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Missoula, which kicks off on Wednesday, August 1. The Bucks will open against the champions from Alaska, while the Mavs will take on the Hawaiian champions.

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