The Jackson Giants knew they would be in for a real challenge taking on perennial powerhouse Bozeman Bucks. The good news is Jackson did not lose all four schedule games. The bad news is that’s because two were rained out.
Bucks 4, Giants 1
Manager Jason Huggins has to be pleased with what he got out of starter Xander Witt who opened Saturday’s double dip. Witt went the whole way for Post 43, scattering 6 hits giving up 4 runs but none of those earned as the Giants defense had a rough 2nd inning. Three Jackson errors opened the door to a 4-run outburst from Bozeman.
The Giants, meanwhile, were held to just 1 run on 3 hits by a bedazzling Jackson Burke who threw 6 stellar innings for the Bucks. Kellen Harrison worked a scoreless 7th for the save.
Bucks 13, Giants 2
Despite the final score, Jackson was every bit in the nightcap as well. The Giants grabbed the lead in the 2nd after taking advantage of a wild Hayden Roethle. Roethle walked Luke Moore and Owen Khanna setting the table for Witt who doubled to right to bring home Moore. A sac fly by Grant Parkin plated Khanna for the 2-0 lead.
It didn’t hold up long. Bozeman evened things in the top half of the 3rd as Giant starter Bridger Hammond worked through his own control issues—he ended up hitting 5 Bucks batters through his 5 innings of work.
The 2-2 tie would hold up until the 5th inning when tiring Hammond surrendered a 3-run blast to Bozeman lefty Max Mateucci. The floodgates opened. Bozeman tagged reliever Bode Calder for 6 more runs and the Bucks cruised to a 13-2 win.
Rhett Hays fanned 9 Giants batters in his 5 innings of relief to pick up the win for Bozeman.
Sunday’s scheduled doubleheader was rained out.
The Giants record now stands at 3-3. The Bucks improve to 3-3 as well.
Next up for Jackson is another road trip. They head to Bozeman to rematch with the Bucks on May 8-9. The Giants will also take on Great Falls and Lewiston while in Montana.