Hot-hitting Pilots roll past Bonneville
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Resilience and patience paid off for the Ashland Pilots on Sunday in the American Legion A Northwest Regionals.
It didn't hurt, either, that Billy Hansen and the rest of the Pilots mashed the ball when it really counted.
After losing an early lead, the Pilots constructed a nine-run seventh inning and fought off a late surge to derail the Bonneville Bees of Idaho, 19-13, at Heroes Field in Bozeman, Mont.
The Pilots will try to keep their hot hitting going against the Laurel Dodgers of Montana today at 5 p.m. (Pacific time). Dodgers have amassed 38 hits in their last two outings.
Against Bonneville, Hansen was 5-for-5 with six RBIs and scored four times. His biggest hit was a two-run double during Ashland's four-run ninth inning, when the Pilots were able to put the contest out of reach.
After the Pilots tallied nine runs in the seventh, the Bees made a push with four runs in the bottom of the inning to cut it to a 13-12 Ashland lead.
Ashland gained a little breathing room when Brent Hegdahl's eighth-inning single drove in two runs to make it 15-12.
Ashland pitcher Brady Thomas had a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game.
In the top of the seventh, with the bases loaded and one out, A.J. Adams Jr. hit a two-run single. After Taylor Humphrey reached first base with a bunt single, Hansen pushed two more runs across with a single.
The Pilots' run continued when Ethan Schlecht was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in a run. Thomas added a two-run double and Evan Westelle-Grant drove in two with a single.
Hansen also had a solo home run in the first inning and capped a two-run second inning for the Pilots with a run-scoring single.
Hegdahl was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored for the Pilots, who put up 22 hits as a team.
Ashland's Humphrey was 4-for-7 and scored four runs. Adams was 3-for-6 with a pair of RBIs and scored twice, while Schlecht ended up going 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
Ashland Pilots 121 000 924 — 19 22 2
Bonneville Bees 040 301 410 — 13 15 5
Schlecht, Hansen (7), Thomas (8) and Adams Jr.; Craig, Dellasilva (7), Chapa (7) and Hendrix. W — Hansen. L — Dellasilva. 2B — A: Humphrey 2, Thomas; B: Hendrix, McQuire, Richan, Dellasilva. 3B — B: McQuire. HR — A: Hansen; B: D. Kowitz, Hostert.
18U-A ASA WESTERN NATIONALS — At Hayward, Calif., the Black Tornado dropped an emotional quarterfinal Saturday and couldn't make a successful turnaround later in the loser's bracket to finish tied for fifth in the 30-team tournament.
Ohio University player Raven King belted a pair of two-run home runs to lead the Utah Pegasus Gold to a 7-4 win over the Black Tornado in the championship quarterfinals.
Black Tornado coach Mike Mayben said the Utah squad was comprised of primarily college-level players, all at the 18-year-old cutoff mark. In contrast, the Black Tornado boasted a pair of 14-year-olds in Maryssa Becker and Katie Williamson and an entire squad that could've been eligible for the 16U-A level.
King's homers in the first and third innings built a 4-0 cushion, but the Black Tornado battled back with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before winding down with a pair of runs in the seventh.
Sierra Berryessa was 2-for-3 with one run scored and Rashaun Sells 3-for-4 with two runs for the Black Tornado, while Ashley Bacon and Grace Marsh each drove in a run. Two other runs scored on passed balls.
In its second game Saturday night, the Black Tornado ran out of gas in dropping an 8-1 decision to the Arizona Aztecs. The same teams also squared off Friday, with the Black Tornado winning 3-1.
Amanda Freitas scored the Black Tornado's lone run in the first inning. She reached safely on a leadoff single, moved to second after a throwing error and scored following two passed balls.
Freitas finished with two of the Black Tornado's three hits.
Black Tornado 000 110 2 — 4 8 1
Utah Pegasus Gold 202 201 x — 7 11 0
Becker, Bartley (6) and Williamson; Jachim, King (5), Zimmerman (7) and Nielson. W — Jachim. L — Becker. 2B — BT: Sells; UPG: Robb. HR — UPG: King 2.
Arizona Aztecs 301 001 3 — 8 15 2
Black Tornado 100 000 0 — 1 3 3
Contreras and Ballesteros; Bartley, Marsh (3) and Williamson. W — Contreras. L — Bartley. 2B — A: Valencia. HR — A: Valencia.