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New travel baseball program starts up in the valley

by RAY QUEEN
| May 17, 2023 1:00 AM

Badrock Baseball, a new North Valley Travel Baseball program, is up and coming — and winning.

Over the weekend Badrock Baseball 14U team won the Helena 15U Mother’s Day Tournament on Sunday after winning six straight games in two days. Through pool play, Badrock Baseball pounded the baseball ending each game early with 10-run mercy rules. On Sunday, Badrock opened up with Missoula winning 14-3 then faced a tough Legion B squad from Tri-County, Conrad, Shelby and Cut Bank. This game was a pitcher's dual as Badrock Baseball had Jory Hill on the mound for four solid innings and Carter Godsey coming in to close the game out winning 2-1. Ashytn Mintz had the game-winning RBI.

Badrock moved to the championship game against a very tough and large team of 15-year-olds, Billings Upper Deck Expos, that had been dominating the tournament as the No. 1 seed followed by Badrock at No. 2. Badrock Baseball 14U weathered a push by Upper Deck Expos 15U in the third inning where Badrock 14U Baseball coughed up four runs but still won 9-7 for its third win of the day and the championship.

Both pitching staffs had their hands full, frequently dealing with runners on base. Badrock collected eight hits and Upper Deck had seven hits. Upper Deck Expos 15U opened up an early lead in the first inning when VanDeale singled on the first pitch of his at-bat scoring one run. Badrock took the lead for good with four runs in the fourth inning. In the fourth, Cullen Wallace singled on a 2-0 count, scoring one run, an error scored one run for Badrock. Drew Queen drew a walk scoring one run and Godsey was struck by the pitch driving in the run.

Jett Pitts was on the hill hurling the complete game for the W, allowing seven runs on seven hits and striking out 10.

Car was on the hill for Upper deck surrendering eight runs on six hits over three and two-thirds innings, striking out two.

Drew Queen went 2 for 3 at the plate to lead Badrock Baseball in hits.

Badrock Baseball will soon have an additional team out on the field after high school baseball is complete. This will be a 16-plus age group. The Badrock team is made up of players from Columbia Falls and Whitefish. Badrock 16U will travel to Butte and Lewistown for two American Legion Class Tournaments and wrap up their season at Gonzaga University for a four-day camp and two doubleheaders in two days at Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities Baseball Complex. This is a different approach to creating a travel team that feeds a good steady diet of above pitching and opponents that may be older and them pushing them to play at an entirely different level. Players for the 16U Badrock include Columbia Falls High School starting shortstop Reggie Sapa. Whitefish brings a slew of players including Christian Schwaderer who played varsity for the Bulldogs, Cal Eisenbarth, Logan Conklin, Brady Howke, Avery Cutan and company.