Mission Valley Claims District Title, Advances to State with Glacier

Mariners defeat Twins in district championship game

By Dillon Tabish

The Mission Valley Mariners secured the Western A district championship in American Legion baseball last weekend, defeating the Glacier Twins 12-8 in the title game at Griffin Field in Kalispell.

Both the Mariners and Twins advanced to this week’s state tournament in Lewistown.

In the chipper, TJ Olson and Zeke Webster-Yaqui paced Polson’s legion team with three hits apiece. Both players had a pair of RBI each. Olson had two doubles and Webster-Yaqui added one. Trevor Paro chipped in two RBI along with Alex Killian. Bransen Krebs picked up the victory from the mound for Mission Valley.

The Twins defeated the Bitterroot Bucs in the third-place game, 8-1, to secure a trip to state. Mission Valley is riding a hot streak into state.

The Mariners opened the district tourney with an impressive performance by Bradley Pichler, who struck out 14 batters en route to a 11-0 victory over Libby on July 23. The squad cruised from there, winning 9-1 over Missoula on Thursday and then 12-2 over Glacier in the semifinals Friday. Pichler had three RBI in the win over Missoula. Killian was 3-for-3 with three RBI in the semifinals and Webster-Yaqui was 2-for-2 with two RBI. Olson and Jacob Harrod added a pair of RBI apiece.

The district championship is Mission Valley’s second in three years. The team won in 2012 and went on to capture the Northwest Regional championship. The Mariners open the state tournament July 29 against Belgrade.

The Class AA tournament is in Lethbridge, Alberta this week. The Kalispell Lakers failed to advance.