Outlaws salvage single weekend win

Abe Winter
Star Staff Writer

No matter if it’s your third doubleheader in three days. No matter if the temperature is 95 degrees.

Those weren’t going to be excuses for Miles City coach Monty Frare after his Outlaws lost both games Sunday against Spearfish, South Dakota.

“Brutal” was his quick one-word description of the team’s latest two losses.

“I’m disappointed in the lack of competitiveness,” Etchemendy said after the Outlaws were shut out 8-0 in Game 2 after blowing a three-run lead in the final inning of the opener to lose 7-5.

Seb Morrow gave up two runs in the first inning and then threw five scoreless innings before being lifted after throwing 80 pitches. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out 10.

It seemed his record would be lifted to 4-0, but relievers Kyle Nielsen and Kasey Seyfert weren’t at their best. Nielsen (1-3) got two outs but an error, three walks and a hit batter helped Spearfish tie it at 5 and Seifert allowed a two-run single that plated the final two runs that were charged to Nielsen.

“Seb pitched great, but we just couldn’t shut them down,” Frare said. “Seb completely controlled the game. He pitched a very impressive six innings.”

“That’s the most pitches I’ve thrown this year. I felt all right. I did what I could,” Morrow said.

He has struck out 43 and walked 20 so far for the 14-16 Outlaws.

Nielsen hit a solo home run and Dustin Benson and Quayde Shores both singled twice in the opener, which also featured four errors by the Outlaws that made all seven runs unearned.

Game 2 certainly was one they’d like to forget. Perhaps inspired by its five-run rally in the seventh of the opener, the visitors scored twice in each of the first two innings, then added two more in each of the final two innings to back pitcher Connor Glasford, who allowed four hits and faced only 22 batters over six innings. Zach Kozel pitched a scoreless seventh.

“It’s nice to go home with two wins,” smiling Spearfish coach Matt Kemp said after his team improved to 14-9.

An 11-2 win over Billings Upper Deck in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, played in Columbus, eased the sting of three straight losses to start the hectic weekend.

After falling 7-3 in the opener, the Outlaws jumped ahead early with a run in the first and five in the second. It was 5-2 after four before the Outlaws pulled away with two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings and one in the seventh.

Their best game of the two-day, four-game road trip featured 11 hits, including a double and two singles by both Thomas Ayer and Seyfert and two singles by Shane Sinclair. It provided plenty of support for winning pitcher Dustin Benson, who went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four.

In Friday’s doubleheader at Bozeman, the Outlaws were overwhelmed by the Bucks in Game 1, falling 15-1 in five innings after starter Dylan Monroe surrendered five runs in the first and two in the second. The Bucks, who had 10 hits and were aided by five Miles City errors, scored seven in the fourth before surrendering a run in the fifth on an RBI by Sinclair.

The lone hit for the Outlaws, who didn’t make it through the batting order twice, was a single by Morrow. The Outlaws struck out nine times against winner Adam Hubley.

The Outlaws were more competitive in Game 2, but gave up their early lead before falling 7-3.

Miles City was ahead 2-0 after the top of the first only to be hit by two three-run rallies by the Bucks in the first two innings. The Outlaws closed to 6-5 with a single run in the fourth and two in the fifth before giving up the final run in the bottom of the fifth.

Nielsen took the loss, going two innings and being touched for only two hits. Three of the six runs he allowed were unearned but he issued five walks while striking out four.

Seyfert led the Outlaws with a double and single, scoring twice. Makenzie Gross had a double for Miles City, which committed another four errors

So, the Outlaws were 1-5 in their weekend of three twinbills.

“I think it will get better,” Morrow said.

“We have played amazingly better,” Frare said.

Perhaps it will get back to that level when the Outlaws travel to Lovell, Wyoming, for four games next Saturday and Sunday, followed by a four-day, eight-team tournament starting June 15 in Williston, N.D.

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