BELGRADE — The Butte Miners' championship drought is over.
The Miners stormed to a 9-0 lead in the first inning and Aidan Lee batted in the game-winning run as Butte routed the Billings Cardinals 12-2 in five innings to claim the State A Legion title on Sunday at Prescott Park.
Butte, which went 5-0 at state, earned its first Legion championship since 1953. The Miners registered 13 hits and no errors in their championship game against the Cardinals, who Butte beat 7-3 in the second round.
"I’m super grateful," said first baseman Aidan Lee, who was named the tournament hitting champion. "Our team is so good and we’re so close to each other. I knew that beginning of the year this was our goal and I knew we could achieve it because of how close we are to each other and how good we are. So happy. So grateful."
Pitcher Trey Hansen earned the win, surrendering just three hits and notching three strikeouts. The Miners earned their third run-rule victory of the tournament and outscored their opponents 61-17 through five games.
"I feel like I'm on Cloud 9 right now," said designated hitter Zach Tierney. "This is awesome. It means everything for every past Mucker and Miner. We're gonna be in history."
Butte fans filled the stands to capacity and gave the Miners a home-game feeling. For first-year coach Jim LeProwse — who will also be Butte High's first baseball coach next spring — that support gave his team the strength to come out on top.
"The Butte crowd is unbelievable," LeProwse said. "The cheering and it gets the kids all fired up. My hats off to all the Butte people that took the time to come down and support these guys. Anybody who missed out on watching these guys play really missed out cause this team can play, There's no two ways about it."