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Loggers fell Riverdogs in doubleheader

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | July 6, 2021 7:00 AM

The Libby Loggers collared the Clark Fork Valley Riverdogs during their July 2 doubleheader.

A late-game push in the opener gave Libby a 10-5 win. In the nightcap, the Loggers rotated through four pitchers to shutout the Riverdogs 12-0 within four innings.

The back-to-back wins marked a shift in the 11-18 Loggers’ recent record. During the Big Bucks tournament the week prior, Libby placed seventh out of eight; the Loggers lost three of their four games, taking only their final matchup against the North Idaho Lakers.

“We finally said ‘[screw] it, we’re tired of losing,’” said Libby’s first baseman Aydan Williamson, after winning the opening game against the Riverdogs. “Let’s get a win.”

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First baseman Aydan Williamson takes delivery as Beau Plakke grounds out in the top of fifth inning in the first game of a July 1 doubleheader with the Riverdogs. (Paul Seivers/The Western News)

In the first inning of the opening game, Clark Fork Valley established a two run lead. After loading the bases, two Riverdog runners were able to get across the plate on a Libby error.

The Loggers responded in kind in the bottom of the first inning. During Libby’s first at-bat of the game, Tripp Zhang slugged a ball deep into right field. A sacrifice RBI from Tucker Masters brought Zhang home. A few batters later, Brett Osborne tagged the plate on another sacrifice RBI from Landon Haddock.

The game remained tied until the top of the third inning when the Riverdogs stole home on an error. Another defensive mistake generated two more runs for Clark Fork Valley.

The Loggers narrowed the Riverdog lead with two runs of their own, courtesy of Haddock and Williamson, in the bottom of the third. Two innings later, Williamson struck again, launching a ball deep into left field for an RBI double. A Riverdog error allowed David Bailey to steal home and tie the game.

In the top of the sixth, the Loggers kept Clark Fork Valley locked down. The Logger defense was bolstered by pitcher Caden Williams, who held down the mound for all seven innings. Williams threw nine strikeouts, 20 first pitch strikes and walked away with a WHIP of 0.71.

Back at bat at the bottom of the sixth, a bunt single from Williams loaded the bases for the Loggers with no outs on the board. Williamson stepped up to the plate next and sent a ball deep into left field bringing home Masters and Zhang on a two RBI double. An RBI base hit from Haddock put the Loggers ahead 8-5. Libby gained another run from a sacrificial bunt from Hunter Hoover that brought home Williamson.

The Loggers snuck one more run past the Riverdogs, bringing up the final score in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Heading into the nightcap, Williamson said it would be important for the Loggers not to let the win get to their heads. During doubleheaders against the Missoula Mavericks and Bitterroot Red Sox earlier this season, Libby pulled off wins in the opener but fell in the second game.

“[We can’t] be too cocky,” said Williamson. “Get a sweep instead of a split.”

The Loggers established an early lead, racking up two runs in the first inning. In the second, Libby brought the score to 8-0. The Loggers secured two more runs in both the third and fourth innings, ending the game early thanks to the 10 run rule.

Masters secured four RBIs for the Loggers. Haddock and Zhang racked up two of their own. Caleb Moeller, who held down the mound for two innings, generated six first pitch strikes for the Loggers. Bailey secured one strikeout for Libby. Moeller and Masters came away from the game with WHIPs of 1.00. Bailey had a WHIP of 0.00.

The Loggers are scheduled to play Kalispell at home on July 6.