Baseball: Mavs pummeled, return the favor

Turnabout, some are wont to say, is fair play.

So, lose by 10 runs. Then, win by 10 runs.

That’s what transpired Tuesday night in an American Legion baseball doubleheader at Connors Stadium.

In Game 1, Richland County (Sidney) pounded away early en route to a 15-5 victory over Miles City via the 10-run mercy rule in the minimum five innings.

“That was bad,” Miles City coach Jake Mills said.

Not to worry, coach.

In Game 2, Miles City bounced back to defeat the Patriots 11-1, also in five innings, behind the two-hit pitching of Clay Prell. He struck out four and walked three.

“I was throwing strikes, staying low in the zone,” Prell said after his first start of the 2017 season. “It’s the best I’ve pitched in quite a while.”

He was backed by an attack that truly could be considered small ball.

A four-run second inning that featured only one hit — a squeeze bunt by Mason Dinardi — was all Prell needed. The rally was helped by two Sidney errors, which made all four runs unearned.

Prell allowed a run in the fourth when Max Peters led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home on a ground out.

The Mavericks quickly struck back, scoring twice in the fourth — three bunts highlighted the rally — to make it 6-1.

The game ended prematurely when the Mavericks scored five runs in the sixth. Singles by Deven Doughty, Jacob Swope and Jess Bellows aided the game-ending rally.

Swope slid home with the clinching run on a close play that angered Sidney players and coaches. But their argument was only temporary as the teams gathered down each line for final words.

“He was great,” Mills said of his pitcher. “He threw a lot of strikes for us and that’s the name of the game.

“He was very efficient. He got out of some difficult situations.”

Prell passed on the praise.

“The infield and offense all did an outstanding job,” he said. “They got me out of some sticky situations.”

Swope had two singles and two RBI and Jess Bellows had a double and two RBI in Game 2.

Game 1 is one to forget, especially after giving up a leadoff triple to Parker Dean to start the seven-run, first-inning surge.

“We go out and give up seven in the first. … It’s hard to come back from that,” Mills said.

Doughty, fresh off placing third with Christian Stradley in doubles at the State Class A Tennis Tournament in Whitefish, was the starter in Game 1. He was followed to the mound by Jared Bellows, Kole Lohrke and Nathan Zard.

Zard doubled and singled and Matthew Regan and both Bellows had two singles each in the opener.

Meanwhile, Miles City opponents should be wary of the small-ball attack that was displayed Tuesday.

“That’s going to be our identity,” Mills said after is team’s record improved to 4-2 and dropped Sidney’s to 1-1.

All in all, it seemed like a good twin bill, at least offensively, with 32 runs being scored.

“Crooked numbers did us in in the first game,” Mills said, “and crooked numbers did them in in the second game.”

Turnabout is fair play.

(Contact Abe Winter at starcity@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)