Cubs knock off Braves in Southern A district tournament

Zander Petrich, right, and Sage McMinn (10), of the Livingston Braves, jog off the field towards the dugout after scoring a run against the Helena Reps on Sunday, July 16, at Kindrick Legion Field in Helena. Enterprise photo by Jordan P. Ingram.
Jordan P. Ingram
Enterprise Staff Writer

The reigning 2016 American Legion Southern A district champs were officially dethroned. 

The Livingston Braves (17-30) will have to wait until next year to pursue dreams of postseason baseball supremacy, falling to the Dillon Cubs 10-0 in a loser-out elimination game on Saturday morning at the Copper Mountain Sports Complex in Butte. 

The Belgrade Bandits defeated the Gallatin Valley Outlaws 10-0 on Sunday to claim the 2017 South District title. The Bandits and GVO advance to play in the State A tournament on July 27 in Three Forks.

On Friday, Buck Spallone went 4 of 4 including a double, triple and two home runs, one of which being a grand slam, nine RBI and scored three runs to help the Braves topple the Butte Muckers, 17-8. 

Ethan Bullock went 1 for 2 with a home run, Zander Petrich was 2 of 4 with two RBI and three runs scored and Chasyn Campbell was 1 for 2 with an RBI and scored twice for Livingston, which outhit the Muckers, 11-5.

But the Braves didn’t have an answer for the Dillon Cubs on Saturday. 

Dillon outhit Livingston 10-3, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead and cruising to a shutout win. Braves pitcher Sage McMinn took the loss, throwing 11 strikeouts and surrendering six hits and six runs in five innings. 

Campbell, Petrich and Spallone each had a single for Livingston.

The Braves finished the 2017 season with a team batting average of .318 and collected 394 total hits (including 53 doubles, 24 triples and 14 home runs), 287 RBI and scored 349 runs in 47 games. 

Petrich led the Braves’ offense with a .464 average and finished the season with 58 hits and 61 RBI. 

Spallone wrapped up his final American Legion baseball season .461 and led the team in home runs (7), triples (8), doubles (14), RBI (62) and runs scored (64). Petrich and Spallone combined for 123 hits for Livingston.