If the Class AA Missoula Mavericks' 16-4 loss Saturday afternoon to the Lewis-Clark Twins from Lewiston, Idaho, at Lindborg-Cregg Field left a knot in their stomachs, then one could only imagine what the Mavs were feeling after dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker to Bellevue, Wash., Honda in the day's final contest at the Scott Klaudt Memorial American Legion baseball tournament.
Missoula held a 3-1 lead and needed just one out in the bottom of the seventh to close out Bellevue, but an error, a seeing-eye single, a double, a triple and a game-winning single by David Madson gave Bellevue the come-from-behind victory.
It spoiled a strong effort by Mavs starting pitcher Wes Martens (3-4), who tossed the complete game.
"He pitched his heart out," said Mavericks manager Brent Hathaway after his team fell to 2-2 in tournament play and 30-11 overall. "That's the best he's thrown by far all year. He deserved to win, but we just didn't back him up."
In the early tournament games, the Billings Royals beat the Prairie Cardinals from Post Falls, Idaho, 4-2 and the Twins smoked the Spokane Bandits 12-0.
Against Lewis-Clark, the lone undefeated squad in the six-team field at 4-0 in tourney play, the Mavs scored four times in the top of the third to take a 4-2 lead. The rally featured run-scoring singles by Cubby Pierre and Taylor King as well as an RBI double by Sean Dwyer. But from then on, it was all Twins.
Lewis-Clark sent 12 to the plate against Missoula starter Anthony Maes in the bottom of the frame, scoring eight on seven hits, including a two-run double by leadoff man Taylor Forge, who finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
The Twins came back and put up six runs in the fourth on six hits. The game ended after 4 1/2 innings due to the tournament's eight-run margin rule.
Dwyer went 2-for-2 and King was 2-for-3 as Missoula managed seven hits off Lewis-Clark hurler Josh Richardson, who scored the complete-game victory. But the worst had yet to come.
After allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the first against Bellevue, Martens was solid and pitched out of jams in the third and fifth before disaster struck in the seventh.
Staked to a 3-1 lead after Dwyer's sacrifice fly in the first and two-run double in the fifth, Martens retired Andy Thompson and Amir Zahed in order to get within one out of the victory.
King misplayed a grounder to short and Jon Ramos' single put runners on first and second before a double by Travis Pickering and an Eric Korsmo triple tied it at 3-3. Madson then sent the crowd packing by slicing a single to right to end it.
"You don't give away outs and you don't give away opportunities to score," Hathaway said. "We did hit the ball hard, several times at people, but had some at-bats where we definitely saw some things we need to improve on."
Eric Pyne gave Bellevue a quality start, going 5 2-3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits, walking three, but striking out none. He gave way to Abe Potts who shut out Missoula over the final 1 1-3 to get the win in relief.
Missoula meets the Billings Royals at 4 p.m. Sunday in the final pool-play contest prior to the 7 p.m. title game.
Missoula 004 00 - 4 7 2
Lewiston 208 6x - 16 14 0
Anthony Maes, Taylor Nordby and Andy Freeman, Sean Dwyer (4). Josh Richardson and Tim Kerr. W - Richardson. L - Maes (3-1).
MISSOULA - Taylor King 2-3, Ben Roberts 0-1, Matt McMann 0-1, Brendan Brown 0-2, Jake Schilling 0-1, Dwyer 2-2, Sam Sopko 0-0, Kendal Maier 0-2, Drew Lytle 0-2, Nordby 1-2, Andy Freeman 1-2, Cubby Pierre 1-2.
LEWISTON - Taylor Forge 4-4, Adam Carson 2-3, Don Perconti 0-1, Tom Kerr 1-3, Matt Blankenship 1-1, Ti. Kerr 1-2, Deren Jones 1-2, Tyler Gillie 2-3, Dusty Kearns 2-3.
2B - Dwyer, Forge, Blankenship, Kearns. 3B - Nordby. RBIs - King, Brown, Dwyer, Pierre, Forge 3, To. Kerr 2, Blankenship 2, Ti. Kerr, Jones 2, Gillie 2, Kearns 2.
Missoula 100 020 0 - 3 5 5
Bellevue 100 000 3 - 4 8 1
Wes Martens and Dwyer. Eric Pyne, Abe Potts (6) and David Madson. W - Potts. L - Martens (2-3)
MISSOULA - King 1-4, Roberts 1-3, Brown 0-2, Dwyer 2-2, Maier 0-4, Cody Burgmeier 0-3, Nordby 0-1, Sopko 0-2, Pierre 1-2.
BELLEVUE - Amir Zahed 1-4, Alex Potts 1-4, Jon Ramos 3-4, Travis Pickering 1-3, Eric Korsmo 1-4, Madson 1-4, Reese Futrell 0-3, Collin Robitoy 0-1, Cameron Patrick 0-1, Andy Thompson 0-3.
2B - King, Dwyer, Al. Potts, Pickering. 3B - Korsmo. RBIs - Dwyer 3, Pickering 2, Korsmo, Madsons.
Scott Klaudt Memorial Tournament
at Lindborg-Cregg Field
Lewis-Clark Twins 10, Bellevue Honda 0
Spokane Bandits 10, Prairie Cardinals
Spokane Bandits 14, Billings Royals 12
Missoula Mavericks 9, Prairie Cardinals 3
Lewis-Clark Twins 4, Billings Royals
Bellevue Honda 2, Billings Royals 1
Prairie Cardinals 10, Bellevue Honda 2
Missoula Mavericks 9, Spokane Bandits 6
Billings Royals 4, Prairie Cardinals 2
Lewis-Clark Twins 12, Spokane Bandits 0
Lewis-Clark Twins 16, Missoula Mavericks 4 (5 inn.)
Bellevue Honda 4, Missoula Mavericks 3
10 a.m. - Spokane Bandits vs. Bellevue Honda
1 p.m. - Prairie Cardinals vs. Lewis-Clark Twins
4 p.m. - Missoula Mavericks vs. Billings Royals
7 p.m. - Championship