Tag Out

Belgrade shortstop Lane Neill tags out a Mt. Spokane base runner on a stolen base attempt Friday afternoon at Medina Field.


Thanks to a very efficient effort on the mound by Marcos Verdeja, Belgrade managed to earn a split Saturday afternoon to cap a four-game series at Medina Field.

Verdeja consistently got ahead of batters, allowed just three hits, and led the Bandits to a 7-2 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Mt. Spokane (Washington). The Wild rallied in the second game to post a 10-7 victory and took 3 of 4 on the weekend after notching 2-0 and 9-8 wins Friday.

“We played well. It was a all-around good game,” Belgrade manager Johnny Graham said of the opener. “Marcos was an animal Game 1. Located, kept them off balance and was just good.”

The Wild scored their runs in the first and third innings, but were shut down by Verdeja for much of the contest. Belgrade was limited to just three hits as well, but managed to score seven runs with two coming in each the fifth and sixth innings.

South Paw Delivery

Marcos Verdeja tossed a 3-hitter Saturday afternoon to lead Belgrade to a victory against Mt. Spokane (Washington) in the first game of a doubleheader.


“Offensively we were really good and we saw a good arm,” said Graham. “I thought the best arm we saw all weekend is the one we beat to be honest with you … we kind of sped him up, which I thought was pretty exciting to see.”

Both teams tallied 10 hits in Game 2, and Belgrade scored six runs in the fourth for a 6-4 lead powered by a pair of doubles and two well-placed sacrifice bunts by Cooper VanLuchene and Alex Casas that brought in runs.

But Belgrade’s pitching woes ultimately led to the defeat. Mt. Spokane batted around and scored six runs — all of which came with two outs — in the fifth off of Isaiah Brandhorst to take a 10-6 lead.

Jackson Davis belted a bases-loaded single to right to bring in the first two runs, and then Jose Renteria singled down the left field line with the bases loaded to make it 8-6. A double by the Wild stretched the lead to 10-6 before Sam Martens flew out to center to end the inning.

Graham opted to keep Brandhorst on the mound during the sixth knowing that the bullpen was thin following a busy week.

Fielder's Choice

Belgrade third baseman Mason Jacobsen fires the ball to home plate on a fielder's choice in the second game of a doubleheader against Mt. Spokane Saturday afternoon.

“We knew we were going to be throwing every arm we owned. It would have been nice had they all come in and thrown at their best, but a couple of them had some hiccups,” said Graham. “If it’s conference maybe we’re getting some of those guys out earlier, but non-conference we wanted to make some of them work through it.”

Bandits’ starter Kash Fike didn’t make it out of the third inning on the mound, while Casas was pulled after facing just three batters and loading the bases in the sixth. Cole Thomas got Belgrade out of the jam and eventually finished out the contest on the hill.

On Friday the Bandits were limited to four hits in the opener, had two players picked off, and stranded half a dozen runners. Mason Jacobsen scattered eight hits on the mound, allowing the Wild’s runs in the fourth and seventh innings.

Jacobsen and Easton Page each belted doubles in the nightcap, but Belgrade blew an early five-run lead as Mt. Spokane rallied with five over the last two innings to escape with the victory.

Graham noted the series was a learning opportunity for his team as well as an opportunity for players to improve, play smarter and grow.

“We play these teams so we can’t get away with stuff. Sometimes you can get away with, and I’m not saying Montana teams, but you can get away with some stuff in single A ball that you can’t against opponents like that,” he said. “So we kind of shot ourselves a little bit in the foot yesterday and we kind of did that today in Game 2.”

Belgrade (25-11-1, 8-1) bounced back Tuesday with a Southern A sweep of the Bozeman Bucks A at Medina Field. Easton Page led the charge in the opener, finishing 4 for 4 from the plate with a double and a triple in a 20-2 five inning rout.

The second game was competitive throughout as the Bucks scored a run in the top of the fifth to knot the score at 2-all. But Belgrade countered with four runs in the bottom half of the frame to secure a 6-2 victory.

Page added a double in the nightcap, while Cooper VanLuchene scattered six hits on the mound en route to picking up the victory.

The teams also played a make up game Wednesday in Bozeman, and the Bandits tallied 10 runs over the final two innings for a 13-3 victory.

Seth Green was 3 for 3 with a triple, while Page finished 3 for 5. Thomas also belted a triple, while Verdeja had a double.

The back end of that doubleheader will be played in Bozeman on July 2.

Belgrade is back in action with a conference twinbill at Dillon on Saturday and then hosts Livingston in a league doubleheader on Sunday.

Mt. Spokane 2, Belgrade 0

Spokane                   000 100 1  -  2  8  0

Belgrade                   000 000 0  -  0  4  1

Unavailable. Mason Jacobsen and Seth Green. W - Unavailable. L - Jacobsen.

MOUNT SPOKANE - Stats unavaialbe.

BELGRADE (22-9-1) - Stats unavaialbe.

Mt. Spokane 9, Belgrade 8

Spokane                   003 103 2  -  9  5  2

Belgrade                  141 101 0  -  8  8  5

Unavailable. Lane Neill, Gavin Waters (6) and Kash Fike. W - L -

MOUNT SPOKANE - Stats unavaialbe.

BELGRADE (22-10-1) - Easton Page 1-3 (2B), Fike 0-3, Cole Thomas 1-3, Coby Richards 0-3, Lane Neill 0-4, Cooper VanLuchene 1-4, Mason Jacobsen 1-2 (2B), Keaton Carter 2-2, Marcos Verdeja 2-3.

Belgrade 7, Mt. Spokane 2

Spokane                   101 000 0  -  2  3  0

Belgrade                   110 122 x  -  7  3  0

Battery unavailable.

MOUNT SPOKANE - Stats unavaialbe.

BELGRADE (23-10-1) - Stats unavaialbe.

Mt. Spokane 10, Belgrade 7

Spokane               201 160 0  -  10  10  1

Belgrade               000 601 1  -   7  10  1

Unavailable. Kash Fike, Isaiah Brandhorst (3), Alex Casas (6), Cole Thomas (6) and Connor Reid. W - Unavailable. L - Casas.

MOUNT SPOKANE - Stats unavaialbe.

BELGRADE (23-11-1) -Stats unavaialbe.

Belgrade 20, Bozeman Bucks A 2

Bozeman                     000 20  -   2   5  6

Belgrade                      495 2x  -  20  9  3

Drew Roberts, Liam Bailey (3), Corbin Holzer (3), Brooks Tailbot (4) and Colter Russell. Coby Richards and Seth Green. W - Richards. L - Roberts.

BOZEMAN (21-16) - Bailey 1-2, Preston Flieman 0-3, Talbot 0-3, Holzer 1-3 (2B), Dillon Coleman 1-2, Rhett Hays 0-2, Etan Faure 1-1, Reece Stanish 0-2, Gage Ross 1-2, Colter Russell 0-2.

BELGRADE (24-11-1) - Easton Page 4-4 (2B, 3B), Cole Thomas 0-2, Brandon Matthews 1-3, Richards 1-3, Green 1-3 (2B), Lane Neill 0-3, Cooper VanLuchene 1-3, Isaiah Brandhorst 1-3, Marcos Verdeja 0-1, Alex Casas 0-1.

Belgrade 6, Bozeman Bucks A 2

Bozeman                  001 010 0  -  2  6  4

Belgrade                   200 040 x  -  6  4  1

Kaden Thomson, Corbin Holzer (6) and Brooks Talbot. Cooper VanLuchene and . W - VanLuchene. L - Thomson.

BOZEMAN (21-17) - Liam Bailey 0-3, Preston Flieman 1-3, Talbot 1-3, Dillon Coleman 1-2 (2B), Holzer 0-3, Ethan Faure 0-3, Reece Stanish 0-3, Gage Ross 1-3, Rhett Hays 2-2 (2 2B).

BELGRADE (25-11-1) - Easton Page 1-4 (2B), Isaiah Brandhorst 0-3, Cole Thomas 1-3, Coby Richards 1-4, Green 0-3, Lane Neill 1-3, Mason Jacobsen 0-1, Keaton Carter 0-2, Kash Fike 0-2.

Belgrade 13, Bozeman 3

Belgrade               200 106 4  -  13  13  3

Bozeman               030 000 0  -   3    6  6

Easton Page and Seth Green. Preston Flieman, Reece Stanish (6) and Colter Russell. W - Page. L - Flieman.

BELGRADE (26-11-1) - Page 3-5, Cole Thomas 2-4 (3B), Brandon Matthews 0-5, Coby Richards 1-3, Green 3-3 (3B), Lane Neill 1-4, Cooper VanLuchene 1-2, Isaiah Brandhorst 0-3, Marcos Verdeja 2-4 (2B).

BOZEMAN (21-18) - Liam Bailey 1-3, Flieman 2-4, Brooks Talbot 0-4, Corbin Holzer 0-3, Rhett Hays 1-3, Gage Ross 0-3, Stanish 0-2, Dillon Coleman 1-3, Russell 1-3.