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Legion A Northwest Regional: Gallatin Valley Outlaws clinch championship game berth
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Legion A Northwest Regional: Gallatin Valley Outlaws clinch championship game berth

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Gallatin Valley Outlaws lost their first game of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament but had already clinched a trip to the championship game with a win earlier on Monday.

The Outlaws (59-22) opened the day with a 6-2 win over the Cody (Wyo.) Cubs at Mulcahy Stadium to improve to 3-0 at the tournament and reach Tuesday's title game. Gallatin Valley then was no-hit by the Marsh Valley (Idaho) Eagles in a 6-1 loss to conclude the double-elimination tournament's third day, which was a day later than the teams were originally scheduled to play. Sunday's games were rained out.

Marsh Valley will play Wasilla (Alaska) at 2 p.m. Mountain time Tuesday, and the winner will take on Gallatin Valley at approximately 5:30 p.m. back at Mulcahy Stadium for the championship.

Bo Hays struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings and also drove in a run to lead the Outlaws past the Cubs for the third time in four meetings this season. This was the first loss for Cody in three tournament games.

Brody Ayers went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Brandon Beedie closed the door with a five-out save for Gallatin Valley.

The two teams are separated by a drive of only a few hours and faced off three times during the regular season, with the Outlaws winning by double figures in two of the meetings. Then they came all the way to Alaska to battle it out again.

Hays was sensational as he struck out five of the first seven and retired 12 of the first 16 batters he faced. He struck out the side in the first and fifth innings, had a pair in the second and one in the fifth.

Meanwhile, the Gallatin Valley offense came out swinging as Brady Jones singled and Isaac Richardson doubled to open the bottom of the first inning. Then something happened that you don’t see every day — three consecutive sac flies; Cyrus Richardson to right field, Ayers to center field and Hays to left field.

Ayers gave Gallatin Valley a 5-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run single, his third RBI of the game and team-leading fourth of the tournament. Ayers singled and scored on Josh Wisecarver’s RBI single in the fourth inning to push the lead to 6-0.

The Wyoming state champions finally got on the board in the fifth inning, thanks to a leadoff double by Chance Moss and a two-out base knock from Tristan Blatt. Tyler Grenz, who had singled, later scored on an error to make it 6-2.

For as rough of a start as the Cubs (47-14) had, they made it interesting at the end, bringing the tying run in the plate in the sixth inning and getting two runners on base in the seventh inning.

Against Marsh Valley, the Outlaws allowed three runs in the second, one in the third and two in the seventh to fall behind 6-0. They scored their only run in the bottom of the seventh despite failing to tally a hit.

The Eagles' Payton Howe allowed the one run (unearned) with four walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings pitched.

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