In order for the Babe Ruth city tournament to be extended to Monday night, the Chinook team would have to win two games in a row, including beating the undefeated Northern Montana Hospital squad.
And that’s exactly what happened during Wednesday night’s action at the Havre Youth Baseball Babe Ruth city tournament. Chinook bested Wells Fargo in the early game,
10-2, advancing to the championship game against NMH. The win in the early game also eliminated Wells Fargo from the tournament.
In the nightcap, NMH needed one more victory over Chinook to secure the championship. But a six-run fifth inning by Chinook’s offense, as well as two outstanding fielding plays by center fielder Dion Hammet and a complete-game pitching performance by Gavin Gunderson extended the tournament to a do-or-die Monday night game as Chinook beat NMH 8-5. It was NMH’s first loss in the tournament and it sets up a challenge game on Monday night at 6 p.m. at Legion Field.
Both Gunderson and NMH starting pitcher Robert Samson were in control as the two teams combined for just three runs through four complete innings. But Chinook exploded for six in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. Chinook had six hits in the inning while NMH committed three errors. Gunderson drove in two during the onslaught.
Chinook tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning, while NMH tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh, scoring twice before Chinook finally secured the final outs of the game.
Chinook also struck first, scoring one run in the top of the first inning, but NMH bounced right back as T.C. Flesche and Samson each had hits as the NMH squad took a 2-1 lead. Chinook managed to escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second and again in the bottom of the third inning to keep the game close, setting up its huge fifth inning.
Gunderson got the complete-game win for Chinook, while going 2-for-4 at the plate. Hammet, Connor McCalmon and Ramon Chavez all had two hits a apiece as Chinook out hit NMH 10-6.
Samson took the loss for NMH while Parker Filius came on in relief. Jeff Miller led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4, while Kyle Gooch was 1-for-3, as was Flesche, Samson and Filius. Jake Sedahl scored three runs and made several fine catches behind the plate.
The final game to determined the 2012 Babe Ruth city champion will take place Monday night at Legion Field. The game between Chinook and NMH starts at 6 p.m.