By Kim Staudinger
The Medicine Hat Knights capitalized on eight errors by the Great Falls Sparkies to come away with an 11-7 victory in the first game of the North District Baseball Tournament Thursday morning.
With the win Medicine Hat advanced to a 3 p.m. game against Lethbridge today. Great Falls dropped into the loser's bracket and faced its in-town rivals, the Great Falls Electrics, in a loser-out game at 9 a.m. today.
The Knights, leading 8-3 heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning of a nine-inning ballgame, scored three runs to put the game out of the Sparkies' reach.
Mark Hanson and Kirk Bacsu each hit into fielder's choices to drive in consecutive runs, and Troy Grisback added an RBI single two batters later to give Medicine Hat an 11-3 lead.
Upton, Lee (7) and Mammen; Smeby, Heller (9) and Bacsu.
LETHBRIDGE 9, G.F. STALLIONS 2 The Lethbridge Miners came to town with one goal in mind to advance to the state tournament next weekend in Belgrade.
The Miners accomplished step one of their goal by winning the second game of the North District Baseball Tournament 9-2 over the Great Falls Stallions.
James Dawson was strong on the mound for Lethbridge, pitching a complete game, striking out seven and scattering nine hits.
Dawson allowed single runs in the second and the third, but held the Stallions scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The Miners, leading 3-2 heading into the bottom half of the third, added to their lead with three runs on three hits and one Great Falls error.
Lethbridge added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, capitalizing on two Stallion errors.
Joe Legge went 3-for-5, scored two runs and drove in another to pace the Miners' attack. Robert Greeno, J.P. Leclair and Jared Ruff each added two hits and one run scored for Lethbridge.
Mike Miller led the way for Great Falls with a 3-for-4 effort.
Rust, Doty (3) and Thares; Dawson and Pittman.