Helena stops by for a win
A four run fifth inning proved to be the difference for Helena, Montana as they stopped in Gering Tuesday night on their way to the 2012 Battle of Omaha Tournament and beat Platte Valley Companies 5-2.
The four spot broke open a pitchers dual between Joe Spradlin of the Helena Senators and Zach Smith of PVC.
The visitors struck for one run in the first inning when Ray Schnur received a two out walk. He came around to score on a double to deep center by Dan Hansen.
Smith surrendered one hit each of the first four innings but worked out of further damage.
However, in the fifth inning Helena bunched four hits an a walk together to score four runs. Two wild pitches, a passed ball and an error by Gering contributed to the outburst. One of the runs against Smith was unearned.
Gering got one run back in the bottom half of the fifth when Nate stroked a two-out single to left, stole second and scored on a single by Grant Rimington. Danny O'Boyle followed with a single that sent Rimington to third. O'Boyle stole second and put two runners in scoring position for Smith, but he lined out to right field to end the threat.
Gering added a run in the sixth inning. With one out the hosts loaded the bases and scored a run on an infield single by Walker Britsch. Nate Marquez then flied out to left. Tristian Shea made a diving catch then fired the ball to third to double off Reggie Reyes and end that threat.
Gering had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh. O'Boyle reached on a one out error and stole second, but was doubled off the bag when Smith lined out to short to end the game.
Gering drops to 13-12 on the season. They will travel to Torrington Wednesday for one nine-inning game.
Helena moved to 19-17 on the year and will play Omaha Northwest and Lincoln Pius X Thursday in the first day of pool play at their tournament in Omaha. There are 48 teams competing the Battle of Omaha, including the Alliance Spartans.
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