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Billings Royals sweep Missoula Mavericks in doubleheader again

Billings Royals sweep Missoula Mavericks in doubleheader again

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For the second time in as many days, the Billings Royals swept the Missoula Mavericks in a doubleheader.

The visiting Mavs lost Tuesday's opener by a tight margin, 3-2, and the second game the Mavs fell 8-1.

The Mavericks trailed 3-0 for most of the opener, allowing the first run of the ballgame in the bottom of the first and later the Royals got on the board with two in the bottom of the third.

Winning pitcher Gunner Thompson allowed one earned run on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

At the plate for Billings, Burke Steppe went 2 for 3 with a double, and Austin Schaaf and Kruz Slevira each went 2 for 3 with an RBI. 

The Mavs couldn't get much of anything going, leaving nine runners on base for the game. Missoula scored its only two runs in the top of the seventh in a late rally attempt, getting runs in off the bat of Charlie Kirgan with a two RBI single.

Kirgan finished the opener 1 for 4 with the two RBIs. Missoula totaled five hits with Skye Palmer, Bridger Johnson, Nick Beem and Andrew Claussen each snagging a hit each.

On the mound in the first game Zach Hangas pitched all six innings, allowed eight hits, two earned runs, walked one and he struck out five Royals in the loss. 

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Mavs faced a similar issue of stranding runners and tough at-bats.

The Mavs stranded four and netted just three hits in the seven-run loss while Billings recorded seven hits while stranding seven.

Billings scored three in the first and two in the second to take an early, 5-0 advantage over Missoula. The Mavs got their first and only run of the game in the top of the fourth. Henry Black, Adam Jones and Palmer each had a hit, all singles, in the loss.

The Royals' Jessen West went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, Jaeden Jordahl went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and two runs and Austin Schaaf went 1 for 2 with two walks. 

Billings' Lance Schaaf pitched a complete game, allowing one unearned run on three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.

Jones took the loss with 4 2/3 innings of action on the mound. He allowed seven hits, eight earned runs and he walked six and struck out two. Peyton Stevens pitched the final 1 1/3 with nothing allowed but he walked three. Lance Schaaf took the win for Billings with three hits allowed as he struck out six Missoula batters.

Lance Hartzler covers Griz men's basketball and prep sports for the Missoulian. Follow him on Twitter at @lance_hartz or shoot him an email at

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