Beaverhead Little League All-Stars come up big, fall short

The Beaverhead Little League All-Star team came within a win of hosting the Major Baseball state championship series with a berth to the Northwest Regional tourney at stake. Dillon lost to Missoula’s Mount Sential in the District 2 championship. Missoula hosted and lost to a Billilngs team that enjoyed some television time at the regional tourney last week, the last step before the Little League World Series.

 

The Beaverhead County Little League All-Star team for 11–12 year olds fell just short of representing Montana at the Little League Northwest Region Tournament when they fell to Mount Sentinel in the District 2 championship game last month in Butte.

With the 14-4 win, Mount Sentinel moved on to face District 1 winner Boulder Arrowhead Little League, out of Billings, in Missoula, where Boulder Arrowhead took the three-game series to earn a ticket to California as Montana’s representative at this month’s Northwest Region Tournament.

Coached by Jesse Peterson, the Beaverhead team advanced to the District 2 tourney in Butte by claiming third spot at the tourney in Great Falls the week before.

In Butte, Mount Sentinel jumped out to an early lead over Beaverhead by scoring five runs in the first inning.

Rian Mickinnon turned in an unheard-of performance in the title game, where he collected six RBIs on three home runs in the first three innings for Mount Sentinel. Mickinnon hit a three-run homer in the first inning, a solo shot in the second, and then connected for his third homer of the game in the third inning with a man on base.

Dillon was forced to exhaust their pitching in their six-game trip through the bracket, although the opportunity to play in the championship game was still a fine ending to a great year for the local Little Leaguers.

“They are a powerhouse,” Peterson said of Mount Sentinel, “and our three best pitchers were down having already met their pitch limit.”

Although Cole Johnston homered in the second inning for Dillon, it wasn’t enough and the team fell to the same team that had beat them in the title game the previous year.

“We hit the ball really well,” said Dillon’s soon-to-be-sixth-grader Grant Orme. “They were just so good that we couldn’t stop them.”

The Dillon team began the tournament not just knocking off but overpowering the #2 seed from Frenchtown, Mullan Trail. State champs three years ago, Mullan Trail had a hard time hitting Orme, and Dillon cruised to a 29-9 win.

 

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