After three consecutive seasons of placing third at the Montana-Alberta Class A State Tournament, the Gallatin Valley Outlaws finally claimed gold Monday in Havre.
In a rematch of Saturday’s undefeated semifinal, the Outlaws broke open a tight contest in the fourth en route to routing Glacier 10-0 in five innings in the state championship game. The victory capped a perfect 5-0 tournament for Gallatin Valley, which will represent Montana at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Alaska beginning Friday.
“It was quite the ride for sure,” longtime Outlaws manager Duwayne Scott said. “The boys did well and Patty (Patrick Dietz) threw a really good game.”
Dietz tossed a 3-hitter and struck out seven in keeping the Twins off the scoreboard, and he was given plenty of cushion in the fourth.
Gallatin Valley capitalized on a walk and a pair of errors en route to scoring five runs in the frame. A bases-loaded single by Josh Majors drove in the first two runs, while Cyrus Richardson knocked in the final two.
“Josh had a huge single with bases loaded. He was down in the count I think 1-2 and hit a ball back up the middle for a single and scored two,” said Scott. “And then Cyrus drove in two.”
The Outlaws added four more runs in the fifth to put the contest away, and then celebrated the program’s first championship since 2005. It’s the second for Scott, who was also at the helm 16 years ago.
“You just learn that you don’t take advantage of the first one that’s for sure,” he said of the gap between championships. “You just never know if you’ll get back into it or if you’ll have another opportunity. These kids played great all summer long and they deserved it.”
The Outlaws (55-21) finished with 10 hits in the contest and Brandon Beedie, Majors and Richardson each had two. Richardson also had a double.
Afterwards, Richardson was named the tournament’s Batting Average Champion, while Bo Hays was named Most Valuable Player.
Gallatin Valley outscored its opponents 44-13 during the tournament, including 22-2 over the past two days. It was an impressive offensive display for a team that has shined at the plate all season, especially the past few weeks.
“This group, when they get runners in scoring position, this last month they just seem to really focus and just come up with some big at-bats. Not trying to do too much and taking a little off the swing and put the ball in play,” said Scott. “Really the last month of the season they’ve done a really good job with that.”
The Outlaws won’t have much time to celebrate the championship with a quick turnaround for the regional tournament. After returning from Havre Monday, they fly out of Bozeman Thursday for Anchorage, and then play a first round game Friday morning.
While no one on the roster has competed in a regional tournament before, Scott noted the big stage won’t be too much for his team.
“We’ll approach the same way we did this weekend. There won’t be any surprises,” he said. “We’ve faced a lot of out of state teams this year during our non-conference schedule, so I don’t think these guys are going to be shocked by anything. They’re probably going to be a little bit more hungry for this regional title more so than the state title.”
Gallatin Valley 10, Glacier 0
Gallatin Valley 010 54 - 10 10 1
Glacier 000 00 - 0 3 3
Patrick Deitz and Brandon Beedie. George Robbins, Mason Peters (5) and Danny Dunn.
GALLATIN VALLEY (55-21) - Brady Jones 1-3, Isaac Richardson 0-3, Cyrus Richardson 2-2 (2B), Brody Ayers 0-3, Bo Hays 1-2, Josh Wisecarver 1-2, Beedie 2-3, Josh Majors 2-3, Trevor Doud 1-2.
GLACIER (51-16) - Peters 0-3, Stevyn Andrachick 2-3 (3B), Zach Veneman 0-3, Jacob Polumbus 1-2, Mikey Glass 0-2, Dunn 0-1, Robbins 0-2, Hayden Meehan 0-2, Taylor Bryan 0-1.