Sports

Glacier Twins Win State Legion Championship

Whitefish-based team has won 23 consecutive games, advances to regional tournament in Lewiston, Idaho

The marauding Glacier Twins ran their winning streak to 23 games and won the program’s second Class A Montana/Alberta American Legion state baseball championship, beating the Bitterroot Red Sox 8-6 in the title game in Miles City on Aug. 5.

The Twins (38-15) have not lost since July 6 and went 5-0 at the state tourney, unseating the three-time defending Class A champs in the title game. Glacier’s last Class A state title came in 2014, just two years after the Twins endured a winless season at the Class AA level.

Glacier started the 2018 season 0-3 in conference and bounced back to win the next 15 league games in a row, then took home the West District tournament title on July 29 in Hamilton. At the state tournament, Glacier’s five games were decided by just 11 total runs, but manager Scott Murray’s team kept finding ways to keep its winning streak alive.

“We kind of walked through the district tournament but when we got to state there were no easy games,” Murray said. “It was just a battle from start to finish.”

The Twins began the weekend with an 8-3 win against Tri-County on Aug. 1, then beat Gallatin Valley 5-3 the following day. On Aug. 3, the Twins trailed Bitterroot 1-0 into the sixth inning before Tom Hellwig launched a two-run home run to put Glacier in front for good in one of the tournament’s defining moments. The Twins went on to top Laurel 10-9 in the double-elimination tournament’s semifinals before opening up an 8-0 win and hanging on to take home the championship game.

Terek Bistodeau went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the tournament finale, and Coby Clark-Dickenson tripled and drove in two runs. Ryan Veneman closed out each of Glacier’s last two wins in the tournament, one of several strong efforts from up and down the Twins’ roster.

“It’s always somebody that steps up,” Murray said. “There’s always someone there that will have a great game and that really gives our players confidence.”

Glacier advances to the Northwest Class A regional tournament, Aug. 10-14 in Lewiston, Idaho.

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