The first Montana High School Association State Baseball tournament will be held this week at 3 Legends Stadium in Butte, Montana.

That just feels good to say.

The inaugural season had its struggles. First, we had to deal with the weather, second was probably the weather again, and then the added pressures on the Athletic Directors and administrators, scheduling games, busses, and meals… and then rescheduling those games, buses, and meals, several times.

I would love to see everyone’s final schedule with all the changes, Butte High’s schedule shows 12 changes over the course of the season, and I can only imagine everyone was in the same boat.

Butte Central catcher Gunnar O'Brien gets an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
Butte Central catcher Gunnar O'Brien gets an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

This first State baseball tournament bracket resembles a basketball bracket more than the state softball bracket. The major difference is that you can still get to the championship game with a loss in the softball bracket. In this baseball bracket, with a loss, the highest you can finish is third place. It is NOT a true 2-loss elimination bracket.

The pitch count will also be adjusted for this tournament:

91-110 pitches- 2 Days required rest.
46-90 pitches- 1 Day required rest.
1-45 pitches- 0 Days required rest.

During the regular season, 35 pitches was the maximum on ‘0-days rest’, and the 90-pitch cap on 1 day’s rest is a huge bump. During the regular season, a pitcher would have 3 days of required rest for a 90-pitch outing. This will play a factor this weekend, a team can get a  90-pitch outing from their ace on Thursday, AND they will be available again on Saturday.

Game 1 of the tournament has Florence-Carlton vs. Butte High. 9:30a Thursday

Florence-Carlton is the #1 seed out of the South-west finishing 9-1 in conference, and 15-4 overall. Butte High is the 2 seed out of the East, going 8-2 in conference, and 11-2 overall. The two teams never met during the regular season.

Game 2: Lincoln County (Eureka) vs. Polson. 12n Thursday

Eureka enters the tournament as the #2 seed out of the North-West at 5-3 in conference play, 8-8 overall. Polson is the #1 seed out of the West, finishing 6-0 in conference, 16-3 overall.

Game 3: Whitefish vs. Frenchtown. 2:30 pm Thursday

Whitefish is the #1 seed out of the Northwest, they finished with a perfect 8-0 record in conference, and 13-2 overall record. Frenchtown finished 2nd, with a 4-2 record in the West, and a 9-10 record overall.

Game 4: Belgrade vs. Hamilton 5 pm Thursday.

Day one will end with a battle between the Panthers and the Broncs. Belgrade enters as the #1 seed overall, and the #1 seed out of the East. The Panthers finished 9-1 in conference, and 14-1 overall. Hamilton is the #2 seed out of the Southwest, finishing 7-3 in conference, and 11-4 overall.

Baseball bracket- townsquare media

You can view and print out the full bracket on the website.

Hope to see you at 3 Legends!

All games in the tournament will be available to watch via the MHSA website. (NFHS Network) 

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