NWCART Title Game: Marsh (ID) 4, Gallatin (MT) 0
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 10, 2021
NWCART Title Game
Marsh Valley (ID) 4, Gallatin Valley (MT) 0
Southpaw Stanton Howell threw a 5-hit complete-game shutout and tournament MVP Payton Howe had his team's lone RBI on a double as Marsh Valley won the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.
This was the third matchup between the two teams this week Anchorage, with Marsh Valley winning the last final two meetings after dropping a heartbreaker on Day 1.
Howell threw a masterpiece, retiring nine straight and 12 of 13 across the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He never allowed a baserunner to reach third base and got a double play behind him in the first inning.
Howe continued his torrid hitting in the tournament with an RBI double in the bottom half of the first to get the party started. Howell helped his own cause after scoring from third on a passed ball in the third inning to make it 2-0.
Howell responded with 1-2-3 innings in in the third and fourth frames.
The Idaho state champs from Marsh Valley (41-4) plated a pair of runs on errors on the same play in the fourth to push the lead to 4-0. Karter Howell and Dylan Driessen each went 2-for-3. Driessen, James Bodily and Daxton Woodmancy scored runs.
Gallatin Valley starter Patrick Dietz didn’t pitch poorly – in fact, his performance would have been good enough to win on most days. He scattered six hits and three walks over six innings of work. Only one run he allowed was earned and he retired the final five batters he faced.
Gallatin Valley of Montana won the state title to qualify for NWCART and finished the season 59-23.
Marsh Valley is the fourth team from Idaho to win a NWCART championship – the third to do so in Anchorage. In 2007, it was Montpelier. In 2014, it was Pocatello. In 2021, it was Marsh Valley.
The Eagles came back after losing the first game on the first day to win the next five games by a combined score of 50-11. They got it done with a premier pitching staff that spun a two-man no-hitter in the semifinals and a one-man shutout in the finals.
NWCART Individual Awards
Gold Glove Award
James Bodily, Marsh Valley
Long and lean, this guy was a fielding machine. Whether it was shortstop or pitcher, if you hit the ball to him, you were out. He showcased a good arm and quick feet with more range than a Range Rover. He cashed in on 23 of 24 defensive chances and even picked off a dude.
Top Pitcher Award
Bo Hays, Gallatin Valley
When his team needed a big game, this right-hander got the call whether it was as a starter or closer. He struck out 9 batters in 5.1 innings in a Day 3 win. He closed out a Day 2 win with a save. He racked up 10 strikeouts in 6.1 innings and posted a sparkling 1.11 ERA. For the tournament he retired 16 of the 21 batters he faced. In other words, light out.
Big Stick Award
Braxton Foster, Marsh Valley
Some guys set the table but this slugger cleared it. He hit in the middle of the lineup and was usually in the middle of the action, finishing second in the tournament with 9 RBIs and ranking among the top two hitters with a .538 batting average. He collected two RBIs or more in four tournament games. That’s a season for some guys.
Payton Howe, Marsh Valley
It's not very often that a player hits a home run and almost throws a no-hitter in the same game. At a regional tournament? You gotta be kidding. But this guy was no joke. He mowed and he raked. He batted .455 and drove in a tournament high 10 RBIs. He had a 1.56 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 9 innings and did most of the heavy lifting on a combined no-hitter.