Kalispell Lakers Win Sapa-Johnsrud Tournament Title

Lakers AA go 5-0 at four-day Whitefish tourney, pound Palouse Patriots in championship game

By Andy Viano
The Kalispell Lakers practice on May 22, 2018. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell Lakers AA blew out the Palouse Patriots (Pullman, Washington) 10-2 in five innings on July 8 to win the annual Sapa-Johnsrud Tournament at Whitefish’s Memorial Field.

The Lakers went 5-0 during the four-day event and finished the weekend in dominating fashion with eight of nine starters recording hits against the Patriots and starter Wes Palmer settling down after allowing a pair of first-inning runs.

Kalispell’s week began with an 8-1 victory against the Lethbridge Elks in a game that will count as a conference tilt because of an earlier rainout between the two teams. Sam Elliott starred in the Thursday afternoon win, striking out seven Elks in six innings of work. The Lakers won twice on Friday — 6-3 versus Palouse and 6-5 over the host Glacier Twins — then shut out Butte 8-0 behind starting pitcher Taylor Morton on Saturday. Lakers pitchers allowed only seven earned runs combined in the tournament’s five games.

Glacier lost its first three games at the tournament but bounced back to beat Butte 11-1 on Saturday.

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