By Gabrielle Gasser
Photos of Dave PÃ©cunies
MILES CITY, Montana – On Sunday, July 11, the Belgrade Bandits AllStar baseball team won the 12u Montana State Championship.
The 12-child team competed in the three-day double-elimination tournament and came out undefeated. They claimed their victory on Sunday with a four-to-one victory over the Gallatin Outlaws.
âI’ve worked with this AllStar team for the past four years, through blood, sweat and tears,â head coach Matt Morris wrote in an email to EBS. âOur goal has always been to win the state tournament. It all came together in Miles City last weekend. I couldn’t be more proud of the boys and their efforts.
Morris is joined by two other coaches Travis Hazen and Ryan Trenka.
Now the team travels to Meridian, Idaho on July 21 for the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament. The matches will start on Thursday July 22 and the champion will be named on Sunday July 25.
At the tournament will be all state champions from the Pacific Northwest region, which includes Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, northern Oregon, southern Oregon, northern Washington and southern Washington as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
This tournament will consist of group games, with all teams being divided into groups of four and facing the other three teams in their group. Based on the results of that game, the teams are ranked and placed in a bracket for the knockout tournament.
âNow we have the chance to play against some of the best teams in the Pacific Northwest and really test our skills against the big cities with better baseball weather,â Morris said. âNot bad for a ski town!
After the regional tournament, the next stop would be the World Series tournament which will take place in Branson, Missouri, August 5-14.
Morris said it would be amazing for the boys to keep progressing and win the regional tournament, but they are very happy to have achieved their goal of winning State.
âWe played strong defense, started well and had some timely strikes to bring the title home,â he said. “It was an experience we will never forget and of which we can be extremely proud.”