Braves split exhibition games, season-opener gets rescheduled

Thomas Watson

The Livingston Braves are on the verge of starting their 2016 season, and in order to get up to full speed for opening day, they traveled to Great Falls for two exhibition games with the Outlaws on Sunday. 

The teams split the two games, with the Outlaws winning the first game 7-5. Then the Braves turned it around to win the second game 13-2.

The Braves’ home opener is Saturday, but the double-header against the Dillon Cubs has been moved up an hour, from 1 p.m. to noon. The Braves will also host Butte and Billings on Sunday, but those games are still scheduled for their original times — 1 p.m. versus Butte and 4:30 p.m. against Billings.

During Sunday’s two exhibition games against Great Falls, Livingston pitchers combined to hold Great Falls hitters to only three total hits over both games. Location, however, was a factor as the Braves’ pitchers surrendered 18 walks throughout the two games.

In the 7-5 loss, the Outlaws had only two hits, and both were singles by the same player — Bailey Rooney.

The Braves actually took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Bryce Dorvall and Zander Petrich scored in the top of the third inning after a walk to Sterling Lay.

The Outlaws took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with four runs. Two of the runs were scored via a walked batter with the bases loaded, and the other two scored on a two-run single by Rooney.

Lay helped the Braves tie the game in the next inning with a double that drove in two runs, putting the game at four runs apiece. Lay came around to score and give the Braves a 5-4 lead on Buck Spallone’s ground out.

The Braves surrendered that lead in the sixth inning, however, when three runs scored — two when batters were hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and the third on an error.

The Braves came back from that loss with a 13-2 win. Petrich, John Becker and Brock Peterson combined to throw six one-hit innings. The Outlaws scored both of their runs via bases-loaded walks in the fourth inning.

By that time, the Braves were already working with a 10-0 lead and the game was out of reach.

Livingston built its 10-0 lead with a seven-run second inning that started with an Ethan Bullock single. Tristen Jenkins walked to give the Braves two on with no outs, then Cade McOmber reached on an error, which allowed Bullock to come around and score.

After two strikeouts, Lay singled home a run, and Jordan Darr singled home two more to push the lead to 4-0. Spallone singled home another run to give the Braves three consecutive RBI hits, then Peterson capped the inning with a two-run double.

Peterson finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, leading the team in hits. He also drove in four runs. Spallone knocked in three runs and also scored three times.


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