The Lovell Mustangs participated in a Billings Halos Tournament Saturday-Monday in Billings.
The Mustangs fell to Lewistown 11-1 in their first game of the tournament on Saturday. Dawson Forcella scored the lone run for Lovell on an RBI by Trey Dickerson.
“We played pretty good defense,” manager Michael Jameson said. “We just had a little bit of trouble hitting the ball. We only had two hits, one from Gehrig Sweat and one double from Forcella. Dickerson had the lone RBI.”
Next, Lovell defeated Missoula’s B team 5-2 to wrap up day one of the tournament. The Mustangs plated two runs in the first inning by Cole Wambeke and Forcella. Dakota Bond added a run in the second and Riley Hill and Jeremy Schneider added runs in the third inning.
“We talked about the approach at the plate and having a plan when we went up to bat,” Jameson said. “We ended up with 10 hits for that game, which was probably a season high. Haskell and Justin Bacus both tripled and Wambeke and Forcella had two hits. Trey had two RBIs. We had some much better at-bats. We had a solid outing by Wambeke. He pitched a complete game, striking out five while allowing two earned runs.
On Sunday, the Mustangs held off a late rally by the Billings Angels to win 6-5.
“We scored in four out of the six innings,” Jameson said. “We were up 6-2 going into the top of the sixth. We gave up a couple of errors but we were able to hang on. We had nine hits. We were led by Forcella, who went 3-3 with two doubles and Justin Bacus added two hits. Cole Wambeke just missed a home run right off the top of the fence. Dickerson pitched a heck of a game, pitching six 2/3 innings and allowing only one earned run and Jeremy Schneider needed three pitches to get the save and close out the game.”
Lovell finished day two in a 9-9 tie with the Billings Halos, as the game was called due to a time limit.
The Mustangs led 3-2 after the first innings with runs by Wambeke, Forcella and Schneider. Forcella added another run in the third inning to build the lead to 4-2 after three innings. Wambeke and Forcella added runs in the top of the fifth inning to lead 6-3 until the Halos added two runs of their own to cut the Lovell lead to one at 6-5 going into the sixth inning.
“We were going into the bottom of the sixth, we were up 6-5 and gave up four runs to trail 9-6 going into the top of the seventh,” Jameson said. “We scored three to tie it up. It was really impressive to see them keep their composure and fight back to tie it up.”
“We pounded out 12 hits and had four guys with two RBIs (Bacus, Schneider, Haskell and Hill). Forcella again led with three hits and three runs scored. Haskell had a big two-out hit and Schneider made two excellent run-saving catches.
“Hill had another solid game for us. He pitched five innings, giving up five runs and striking out three. Jeremy came in and pitched the final two innings, allowing only one hit.”
The Mustangs were scheduled to face the Billings Lobos Monday, but the game was cancelled due to rain.
“We definitely took steps in the right direction,” Jameson said. “It was good to see the bats come alive.”
Now 4-3-1 on the season, Lovell will host doubleheaders against Laurel today (Thursday) at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Glendive on Friday, also at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Senior Baseball field in Cowley.
The Mustangs will travel to Billings Saturday to face the Angels, then will host the Angels Sunday with both doubleheaders beginning at 1 and 3 p.m.
“We just told them to stay mentally tough,” Jameson said when asked about the eight-game stretch this weekend. “With 17 guys out, it’s nice to have the option to
play different guys in different positions.”
By Sam Smith