Season ends for Dodgers at District tournament

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Story And Photos By Jackson Mcmurrey
Thursday, August 6, 2020
During game two of Eastern A Districts, Richie Cortese hits a triple into the outfield as fans in the bleachers observe the split-second action.

During game two of Eastern A Districts, Richie Cortese hits a triple into the outfield as fans in the bleachers observe the split-second action.

Keagan Campbell warms up at the plate during his turn at bat in a game against the Glendive Blue Devils on Thursday.

Keagan Campbell warms up at the plate during his turn at bat in a game against the Glendive Blue Devils on Thursday.

Ricky Temporal preps himself before his coaches as he readies himself to bat against Glendive on Thursday.

Ricky Temporal preps himself before his coaches as he readies himself to bat against Glendive on Thursday.

Keagan Thompson runs down the first baseline eyeing a teammate rounding third; in the distance Coach Studiner motions the player to stop at the base.

Keagan Thompson runs down the first baseline eyeing a teammate rounding third; in the distance Coach Studiner motions the player to stop at the base.

This year’s season for the Laurel Dodgers came and went all too quickly considering the uncertainty in early spring. After not knowing if there was going to be a season, to then postponing team tryouts from March to May, Laurel’s Legion baseball team didn’t see a game until early June. Following through with a shortened run full of double-headers, the boys in blue saw nearly 40 games altogether before entering the post-season which began last week. The Dodgers took part in the Eastern A District tournament from July 30-August 2, when the top two teams advanced to the State tournament, though Laurel was not one of those teams this year.

Laurel’s first face-off in the double elimination tourney was against the Glendive Blue Devils last Thursday. It was game two of day one in the hot sun and it ended with the Dodgers falling to the Devils, 6-4 with five hits on both sides. Laurel battled to top Glendive’s early lead in which the Devils scored two runs in the first two innings and another four in the fourth; the Dodgers only managed a single run by the fourth inning. Coming up close towards the end of the game, Kayne Johnson hit a double in the fifth inning, and Richie Cortese has a triple in the sixth, but the hits only brought in three more runs in all.

Now entering the loser bracket, the Dodgers initial elimination brought them to a major success against the Glasgow Reds on Friday morning where they won 16-6. Laurel put two runs on the board in the second inning opposed to the Reds’ three runs from the first inning, but it was the third and the seventh inning where Laurel put up five runs in each, shutting down Glendive in the beginning and in the end. Issac Nieto and JD Ketterling were the two heavy hitters representing the Dodgers this game, both going 3-4 at the plate. Ketterling, with singles in the second, third, and the seventh innings, brought in four RBIs while Nieto brought in five. Johnson hit 2-2 and maxed out on the mound at a 105 pitch count allowing nine runs, Nieto pitched the rest with no more runs.

Two games awaited the Dodgers on Saturday, being only one loss away from eliminating their chance at the State tournament. The first game of the day against the Froid Bulls was no problem for Laurel, who won 12-1. Standing with 13 total hits by the Dodgers, Ricky Temporal, Keagan Campbell, Cortese, and Jaxon Wittmayer all contributed several hits to the win. Pitching for Laurel was Aiden Hill, who gave away just one run to the Bulls.

This win took the Laurel Dodgers into game 12 against the Billings Cardinals, but would end up being the Dodgers’ last game of the season. The final score came out to be 5-2, which looked good for Laurel who remained in the lead all the way until the sixth inning when the Cardinals brought in four more runs where Laurel made none. Nieto pitched this game letting up eight hits and striking out two in 87 pitches in the six-inning game. Temporal led his team at bat with two hits and one RBI, Ketterling and Cortese were the only other successful hits that game, Ketterling with the other RBI. That would be all for the Dodgers until they see the season again next year.

Hosting the Montana-Alberta Class A State baseball tournament this year are the Lewistown Redbirds in Lewistown. More information on the tournaments along with the brackets can be found on montanalegionbaseball.org.

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