Blue Devils take second at Districts

Thursday, August 2, 2018
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Jamie Ausk Crisafulli photos

Photos from top: David Skerritt prepares to swing during the champsionship game held Sunday afternoon. Pacyn Patridge is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a run for the Blue Devils Sunday.

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The Glendive Blue Devils played tough in this past weekend’s Montana Legion East District Tournament, but the squad ultimately could not overcome the Laurel Dodgers, who beat the Blue Devils twice to claim first place while the Glendive squad had to settle for second.

The Blue Devils beat the Billings Blue Jays in a pitcher’s duel to start their second day of the tournament on Saturday, but then lost to Laurel later in the day. They then hammered the Blue Jays on Sunday morning to earn another shot at the Dodgers, but again could not muster the runs to knock off Laurel. The Blue Devils actually would had to have beaten Laurel twice on Sunday to win the tournament, but it was a moot point as they were unable to win the first game against them to force a second.

With the tournament over, the Blue Devils finished their 2018 season with a strong overall record of 34-14 and a conference record of 18-6.

Normally, their second-place tournament finish would qualify them for a spot in the Montana Legion State Tournament, but unfortunately for the Blue Devils, Miles City is hosting this year’s state tournament, and so the Miles City Mavericks, as the host team, have taken the Blue Devils’ spot as the second East team in the state tournament. The Mavericks finished in fourth place in the regular season standings and lost both of their games in the District Tournament.

Blue Devils head coach Brent Diegel could not be reached for comment prior to press time.

Blue Devils 1, Laurel 6

The Laurel Dodgers claimed the 2018 Montana Legion East A Division title Sunday afternoon in Glendive with a 6-1 win over the host Glendive Blue Devils.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning that the Blue Devils were never able to make much of a dent in. After opening the inning with a pair of walks, the Dodgers knocked a 1-out single to plate their first run. A dropped third strike on the next batter gave the Dodgers bases loaded, and then an error by Glendive second baseman Pacyn Partridge allowed two more Dodgers to score to grab a good early lead.

Things quieted down after that until the top of the fourth inning, when the Blue Devils threatened to make a game of it. Partridge and Tyler Clapp both singled to lead off the fourth inning, and then Partridge was able to come home to score on an error by the Laurel shortstop. Clapp moved to third on a pop fly out off the bat of Jayden Holley, giving the Blue Devils a runner on third with one out and down by just two runs. But the next batter struck out and then a ground out ended the inning to snuff out what might have been a Blue Devils rally.

The Blue Devils would get no closer than that, unfortunately, as Laurel padded their lead with more runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Blue Devils actually outhit the Dodgers 7 to 6, but couldn’t come up with the timely hits to drive in runs. Partridge was the only Glendive batter to record an extra base hit as well as the only one with more than one hit, going 2-3 on the day.

Blue Jays 1, Blue Devils 11

A dominant performance by starting pitcher Wyatt Buxbaum and timely hitting propelled the Glendive Blue Devils to a mercy rule-shortened win over the Billings Blue Jays in their first game Sunday morning.

The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 4-0 lead before piling it on in the later innings. They took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a 2-out RBI single by Tyler Clapp. The Blue Devils added three more runs in their half of the third inning, the first on an RBI single by Pacyn Partridge. Two more runs came home off of a Blue Jays error with two outs.

The Blue Jays scored a run in the top of the fifth to cut the Glendive lead to 4-1, but the Blue Devils exploded for seven runs in their half of the fifth to end the game on the mercy rule. Jayden Holley got the big inning going with a tworun double, and six batters later Don Huber ended the game with a 2 RBI single.

Buxbaum, for his part, kept the Blue Jays in check from the mound, going all five innings and giving up just one earned run on five hits.

On offense, Huber and Holley led the way for the Blue Devils. Huber went 2-3 with 2 RBIs and Holley went 1-3 with 2 RBIs. Cade Dockter chimed in with 2-3 hitting and 1 RBI.

Blue Devils 4, Laurel 8

The Laurel Dodgers jumped out to a big early lead and held off a late Blue Devils’ rally attempt to put themselves in the tournament driver’s seat in Saturday evening’s action.

It was all Dodgers in the early going, as Laurel plated runs in four of the first five innings en route to building an 8-0 lead, all while holding the Blue Devils scoreless.

The Blue Devils finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Jayden Holley. Tyler Clapp, who had doubled earlier in the inning, then scored on a double steal to cut the Laurel lead to 8-2.

The Blue Devils managed to add a couple more runs in the seventh. Don Huber hit an RBI single and then came around to score later on a wild pitch, but the Blue Devils would get no closer. Holley struck out with a runner standing on third to end the game.

The Blue Devils actually outhit the Dodgers 6-4, but the Dodgers were helped out on offense by a plethora of walks issued by Glendive’s pitchers and a couple of very costly Blue Devils errors.

Huber and Holley led things for the Blue Devils on offense, both going 1-3 with an RBI and a walk.

Blue Jays 2, Blue Devils 3

The Glendive Blue Devils rode a good pitching performance from starter David Skerritt and a last-inning rally to overcome the Billings Blue Jays in their first game Saturday morning.

Skerritt was solid from the mound, going six innings and giving up two earned runs on five hits. However, Blue Jays starter Eli McCoy was even better, going six innings and giving up no runs on five hits, and with the Blue Jays holding a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, it looked like McCoy was going to get the better of the pitcher’s duel.

But the Blue Devils finally found the handle on their bats in the final inning, managing to rally against Blue Jays relief pitcher Aiden Montaz. Don Huber singled to lead off the inning and ignite the rally, followed by a walk issued to Pacyn Partridge and a single by Tyler Clapp which left the bases juiced with Blue Devils.

The first run came home as Jayden Holley hit into a fielder’s choice, allowing Huber to score and leaving runners at first and third with one out. Skerritt then helped his own cause by laying down a bunt single which allowed Partridge to score to tie the game. That’s all the hitting the Blue Devils would need as the walk-off winning run came courtesy of an error on the Billings catcher which allowed Holley to score from second.