Kalispell Lakers roll to win over Butte in Miners' season opener

Kalispell Lakers roll to win over Butte in Miners' season opener

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LAKERS 11, MINERS 1

The first of the Miners’ and Lakers’ doubleheader saw both teams pitching and outfield play keeping the clash scoreless initially, but not before Kalispell exploded in the second ending.

Lakers right fielder Caden Willis was walked by Miners starting pitcher Ryan Burt to start the inning, which set up Willis to steal second and third base before a wild pitch allowed him a clear path home.

After two more walks, the top of Kalispell rotation came to bat, and Lakers 3B Jack Corriveau fired a three-run shot over left center to make the lead 4-0, before a double from Kalispell shortstop Connor Drish scored a fifth run. Burt and the Miners mitigated the damage by striking out Lakers left fielder Kobe Burland.

Burt notched three strikeouts before being replaced by Rylan Richards ahead of the fourth inning, who wasted little time making an impact, striking out the first three batters of the Kalispell rotation in short order.

However, the Miners were unable to capitalize, with Lakers pitcher Kostya Hoffman and Kalispell consistently putting away Butte hitters.

Richards’ early success was cancelled out by another big Lakers inning in the fifth, with Burland hitting a double to score Drish and Willis after the pair got on base. A wild pitch saw Burland get home as well, and the Miners were facing a 8-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the fifth.

While a groundout from Egan Lester scored Kenley Leary to bring one back for the Miners, that was the sole offense generated. Butte head coach Jeff LeProwse made another pitching change, this time to Hunter Salcido, but the Lakers were able to steal bases and capitalize on a few wild pitches to go up 11-1.

The trio of Ryan Wahl, Aidan Lee and Kian O’Neill were unable to begin a Butte comeback at the bottom of the sixth, and the Lakers hit the break with a 11-1 win.

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