Miners rally to send Wolverines packing

VERNAL, Utah — A five-run top of the seventh inning carried the Butte Miners to their 14th straight victory Monday night.

The rally led to an 8-5 win over the Ridgeline, Utah Wolverines in the extra round of the Northwest Class A Regional tournament at Uintah High School. (box score)

Butte (44-9) will play Minico, Idaho in the championship at noon Tuesday. The Miners need to win once to capture the title of the double-elimination tournament. Minico, which beat Redmond, Oregon 12-2 earlier Monday, would have to win twice. (bracket)

There is no further advancement in American Legion Class A baseball.

George Riojas got the start and pitched five strong innings for the Miners. In his first start of the postseason, Riojas gave up five runs, four earned, on three hits. He struck out three and walked two.

However, Riojas trailed 5-3 after giving up a two-run home run to Hayden Hansen in the bottom of the fifth.

Down 5-3, Kenley Leary led off the top of the seventh with a triple. After Egan Lester walked, Erich “Chooch” Hart hit an RBI groundout to score Leary. Aidan Lee then doubled in Lester to tie the game at 5.

Zach Tierney hit a two-out single to put the Miners up 6-5. Rye Doherty tripled to score pinch runner Kevin Donaldson, and Quinn Cox singled in Doherty to make it 8-5.

Tyler Duffey, who pitched two innings of relief to get the win, gave up a single and a walk in the bottom of the seventh, but he exited the inning unscathed.

Duffey struck out three and walked one in two scoreless innings.

Lee went 3 for 4 with the double and two RBIs to lead Butte’s 13-hit attack. Cox went 3 for 3, while Leary and Tierney each had a two-hit game. Hart and Cayde Stajcar doubled.

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