South loses slugfest 14-13 to Montana at NWCART Tourney

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 10, 2013

The South Post 4 Wolverines crushed the ball for the second straight day at the NWCART Tournament in Wheatland, Wyoming.

Unfortunately, so did Laurel, Montana.

Both teams banged out 14 hits, but the Dodgers had a little more pop with three home runs to highlight a 14-13 victory in the winner’s bracket. South will now face Nampa, Idaho, tomorrow afternoon in an elimination game.

This slugfest featured a little bit of everything – big innings, big plays and a home run by Nick Lopetrone, his first since Little League.

“He smoked that ball,” South coach Russ Baker said.

Lopetrone’s two-run bomb scored Spencer Floyd and keyed a six-run ninth inning that saw South nearly erase a 14-7 deficit, fighting to get within one and stranding the tying run on second base.

The Wolverines were led by Brad Butcher [3-for-5, 3 RBIs] and Bryan Baker [two RBI doubles], although Coach Baker wanted to also recognize Andy Schafer and Andrew Martin. Schafer has moved in the leadoff spot for the first time in four years and Martin has moved up in the lineup and resulted with solid contact at the plate.

South is missing several key players, including all-stars Matt Illailo and Alec Valdez.

The Wolverines [27-9] haven’t skipped a beat in the batter’s box, scoring double figures in each of their first two games, including a 14-3 win over Wheatland, Wyoming, last night.

“It’s a group effort. We need to play as a team,” Baker said. “We decided to come down here with a tight-knit group of 12 kids. Everybody has to play, everybody has to contribute. We had a good opportunity to win this game today against a very good team.”

The Dodgers from Montana looked like the team leading the NL West. The Montana state champions didn’t blink after falling behind 7-0 after the top of the first inning. They went ahead 8-7 by the bottom of the second.

One of Montana’s players is 6-foot-7 first baseman. He hit from the left side and crushed a pair of home runs. 

“Let me tell you, they can scold the ball,” Baker said.

Sunday's Game

South vs. Nampa, Idaho, 1 PM ADT

Watch the game: http://wyopreps.com/legion-baseball-northwest-regional-tournaments-2013/