Redbirds win three of four at home

While pitching, Eric Knox is known for his high-leg kick on his follow through to the plate. Knox pitched the Redbirds to a victory over Lethbridge on Sunday.
Photos by Doreen Heintz

Andrew Lalum makes a strong throw to first base after scooping up a ground ball in the infield.

Redbirds (from left) Eric Knox, Kyle Lee and Andrew Lalum discuss strategy between innings on Sunday.

While playing third base, Tyler Lee looks up to find a foul fly ball.

Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

The Lewistown American Legion baseball team upped its conference mark to 12-4 by winning three of four games over the weekend. On Friday, the Redbirds split with conference opponent Lethbridge Miners, winning the first game, 11-1, and losing the second one, 5-8. On Sunday, Lewistown swept a conference doubleheader from the Tri-County Cardinals, 7-2 and 10-1.
In the win over the Miners on Friday, Tyler Lee pitched five innings of four-hit baseball. The Redbirds scored in every inning but the second,  taking the win that ended two innings early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Andrew Lalum’s bat continues to stay hot as he had two hits, including a home run, scored four times, had three RBIs and was walked twice.
In game two against the Miners, the Redbirds uncharacteristically committed six errors to give Lethbridge the 8-5 win. On the mound, Lalum pitched five and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball, but the six errors allowed seven unearned runs to be scored by the Miners. Lalum struck out nine batters and walked three. Ben Kolar came into the game in relief of Lalum in the top of the sixth inning. Kolar gave up the only earned run by the Miners.
For the first time in recent memory Lalum went hitless for the Redbirds, mainly because he was walked three times in the contest. Tyler Lee led Lewistown with two hits, including a double.

Knox pitches Redbirds to win over Cardinals
In the second game of the Sunday doubleheader against Tri-County, Eric Knox threw a four hitter to earn the 10-1 win. Lewistown broke open the game by scoring six runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Jake Clinton started the six-run inning with a walk and only one out. Clinton promptly stole second base with Kyle Lee at the plate. Kirsch’s single to centerfield allowed Clinton to score the first run of the contest. With the Cardinal pitcher struggling to throw strikes, Issac Fry walked to put runners on first and second. Fry and Lee advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and Knox singled to right field to score Lee. The next Redbird run came when Lalum was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Hunter Schell followed with a double down the left field line to score Fry and Knox. With Tyler Lee at the plate, Lalum attempted to steal third base. When the Cardinal throw to third base went wildly down the third-base line, Lalum scored. Schell added another run after an errant throw to first base allowed Lee to reach first. The inning came to a close after Cody Henderson hit into a fielder’s choice at second and Noah Kirsch struck out.
Lewistown added two more runs in the bottom of the third when a Lalum double scored Kyle Lee and Knox.
The game stayed at 8-0 until the top of the fourth inning when a Tri-County player doubled down the left field line to score a teammate.
Lewistown scored twice more in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs in the inning, Lalum hit a single to left field and promptly stole second and third with Schell at the plate. On a three-two count, Schell poked a double into the gap between left and center field to score Lalum. Tyler Lee’s single to right field drove in Schell from second.
The Birds went down in order in the bottom of the sixth. The Cardinals threatened to rally in the top of the seventh by having their first batter hit a single, but Knox got the next three batters out on a strike out, line drive out by shortstop Lalum and a fly out to Kirsch in right field.
In the first game against the Cardinals, Schell allowed two runs to score in the top of the first inning, but then shut out Tri-County the rest of the way. Although the Redbirds did not have a big inning in the contest when they score a number of runs, they did scored in every inning but the fifth. Schell also had a big game at the plate by having three hits in four at-bats. He also had two RBIs.

Redbirds off until Friday
For the first time in several years, the Redbirds will be able to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without worrying about a game or being on the road.
Friday, the team travels to Havre to play the North Stars in a conference doubleheader on the same field the district tournament will be held on, in less than three weeks. On Saturday, the Redbirds host the Great Falls Chargers A team at home in another conference doubleheader. Games times on Saturday are 6 and 8:30 p.m.
The following week the Redbirds make their second trip to Canada to play two conference double headers before heading home for two doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday to conclude the regular season.



How do you think 2018 will be compared to 2017?