Northern Montana Hospital shook off some early trouble to capture the Babe Ruth League tournament championship with a 13-10 win over a pesky Wells Fargo squad.
After falling behind 3-1 to Wells Fargo, NMH scored four runs in the third inning, keyed by hits from Will Schilling and Darias Wendland that gave them a 5-4 lead. NMH continued to add runs in every inning, scoring four more runs in the sixth inning thanks to doubles from Logan Reichelt, Jeremiah Moog and a single from Josh Morse, to take a 13-7.
Wells Fargo, which had already battled back in several games, kept chipping away to narrow the lead to three at 13-10. However, NMH went to 15-year- old closer Austin Small and he shut the door on the comeback, giving his team the title.
NMH advanced to the championship with an 8-7 win over the defending champ Optimist Club in the semifinals on Saturday night. NMH pounded out 13 hits, with Moog notching a pair of doubles and a pair of singles. Chris Buskirk added three singles while Small added a single and a triple.
Jess McLain and Shane Rice were the top hitters for the Optimist Club with three singles a piece.
Members of the championship squad included Reichelt, Moog, Morse, Small, Schilling, Wendland, Buskirk, Kody Johnson, Kyle McKay, Tyler Boyce, Loren Mack, Jeremy Jensen and Logan Schilling. The team is coached by Stuart Small, Kevin Johnson and Bill Schilling.
Wells Fargo advanced to the championship game with a stunning upset of the Optimist Club on Sunday night.
Todd Roe pitched a solid seven innings and picked up the game-winning hit as he drove in Kyle Surber and Sean Peterson.
Peterson advanced Wells Fargo through the loser-out bracket, pitching seven strong innings in a 6-1 win over the Railroad Pagers.
Peterson allowed just seven hits in the game while eight players on Wells Fargo picked up hits.
Optimist Club sent Wells Fargo to the loser-out bracket with a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals. Kyle Finneman worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the last inning with a little help from centerfielder Scott Ladenburg, who made a nice catch on the final out to secure the win.
Finneman and Jess McLain combined on a four-hitter on the mound. Tanner Abdallah pitched well for Wells Fargo, allowing just two runs in seven innings of work.