On a sunny day for baseball at Ardean Aafedt Stadium, the Williston Keybirds were victorious in an 11-3 final over the Sturgis Titans in the opening game of the TruWealth Financial Invitational on June 13.
The Keybirds offense wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard as they posted seven of their 11 runs in the first inning. Jake Engen pushed across Williston’s first run with two men down after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. In the very next at bat, Reed Hanson, who went 3-for-3 at the plate, connected on an opposite field single to drive in two more runs. At that point, Williston enjoyed a 3-1 advantage.
Two batters later, Christopher Sathe worked a bases loaded walk to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Keybirds. With the bases still juiced, all-state performer Brady Aberle stepped up to the plate and busted the game open with a three-run double to left centerfield.
In the sixth inning, and leading 10-3, Aberle again came through with the bases full as he hit a walk-off RBI single to conclude matters, giving the Keybirds the victory. Aberle ended the game with a 3-for-4 effort at the dish, and drove in four runs on the afternoon.
All told, Williston registered 14 hits in the game. Starting pitcher Kyle Mischke earned the win as he went six innings and allowed two earned runs on nine hits.
Later that evening, the Keybirds hosted the Great Falls Chargers in their second game of the tournament. Great Falls took command of the contest early as they posted six runs against Williston through the first three innings.
Trailing 6-0, the Keybirds finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on the strength of a two-run triple by Camdin Miller. Miller, who went 3-for-4 on the evening with four runs batted in, would come around to score on the next at bat by virtue of an RBI groundout off the bat of Zach Carson.
In the fifth, Miller burned Chargers pitching once again for a two-run single to trim the deficit to 7-5. However, this proved to be as close as Williston would get for the remainder of the game. Great Falls added a seventh inning insurance run to close out matters with an 8-5 win over the Keybirds.
Williston totaled seven hits on the night, compared to eight for Great Falls. Trevyn Sundby took the loss for the Keybirds in two and two-thirds innings of work on the mound. Now with an overall mark of 4-6 this summer, the Keybirds are scheduled to host Billings in the next game of tournament play on Friday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.