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Giants show more resolve than wins in Bozeman

JACKSON, Wyo. – Our local baseball team rolled back to Jackson after a near-fruitless road trip to Montana at the Bozeman Invitational. The Post 43 Giants eked out a win in their final game after four straight lopsided losses. It was a prime example of the resolve that coach Jason Huggins knows his ball club can find when they dig deep.

The nightmare road trip began last Thursday when the Giants didn’t have much for a powerhouse team out of Blackfoot, Idaho. Jackson lost that contest 18-2.

Connor Lang, who has been one of the bright spots on the Giants’ pitching staff, took one for the team against Blackfoot, tagged with the loss after surrendering 11 runs on 13 hits before he was lifted in the 4th inning.

Huggins crew managed to rebound on Friday against a very talented Helena Senators team. The Giants fell behind early after 2 Senator runs in the 2nd but Jackson kept battling behind a strong effort from Seth Christensen on the mound.

Christensen went the distance for Jackson, holding Helena at bay for the most part but the Giants’ offense could get nothing going against Helena hurler Peyton Witham, who threw a 1-hit shutout against the Post 43 gang. Final: Helena 8, Jackson 0.

Later Friday, Jackson again suffered another tough loss, this time to Mountain Crest Utah. The Giants never let Mountain Crest run away with the game, but could never manage to find the big hit, either. After surrendering runs in the first two frames, the Giants added a tally in the 3rd to keep things close until Mountain Crest put up a 3-spot in the 5th to seal a 6-1 victory over Jackson.

Parker Bleggi battled all the way as Jackson’s starting pitcher. He gave up all 6 runs on 8 hits for the loss. Bleggi also went 2-2 at the plate, scoring Jackson’s lone run. Kyle Cranston turned in his best and most encouraging performance in relief. The underclassman again struggled with command but managed to whiff 3 batters while issuing 3 passes. He did not give up a run or a hit.

By Saturday of the tournament, the Giants may have been suffering from low spirits as they watched host Bozeman Bucks (22-8) jump out to a fast start and run away with a rout, 14-4. Jackson southpaw Steven Ashurts was tagged with the loss. Cooper Christensen mopped up.

Mason Wright, along with Bleggi, Lang, and Aaron Huggins (2-2 with a run scored) paced the Jackson offense.

Most teams would not have much left by the tourney’s fourth and final day but Jackson came out swinging Sunday and then held on for an 8-7 win over the Loveland Aces.

Quentin Bruno was masterful for the Giants on the hill. He scattered 3 Aces hits through 4 and 1/3 innings before turning things over to Aaron Moya who simply didn’t have it. Grant Parkin earned the save for Jackson, who nearly blew an 8-0 lead when Loveland came roaring back late in the game.

Centerfielder Mason Wright stoked the Giants bats with a 2-2, 3 runs, 1 RBI day. Bruno was also perfect at the dish in 2 plate appearances, knocking in 3 runs.

The win improved Jackson’s record to 6-16 on the season. The Post 43 Giants return home to host the Teton Classic this weekend with action on July 2-5.

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