The Bitterroot Bucs weren’t the best hosts of the Rasmussen Classic tournament held over the weekend in Florence. Sure, they were gracious and ran a nice tournament with everything going very well. They just didn’t share the trophy. The Bucs topped the Bitterroot Red Sox, 8-1, to take the championship. The Rasmussen Classic is named in honor of one of the Bucs’ staunchest supporters, Wilma Rasmussen.
Cody Rolshoven pitched a complete game for the Bucs, striking out eight batters and only walking two. The Southwestern Oregon college signee was composed on the mound and never let the pressure of the rivalry game get to him.
“There was a little ‘smack’ talking before the game,” he said. Rolshoven hadn’t pitched since Wednesday (against Mission) and was rested and ready for the challenge.
The Bucs broke loose in the top of the third inning for three runs. They added four more runs in the fifth. Sage Hansen was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Chance Sage had two RBIs in the game as well.
Bucs manager Brendan Brown said he was pleased with his team’s play this week but felt one of their biggest challenges was trying to stay together as a team and working towards peaking at the right time. The heat was a challenge as well said Brown.
“Playing in the heat and with it getting towards the end of our season, we’re trying to keep playing as a team,” he said. “We did a good job of it today. Cody came out today and this is probably the best game I’ve seen him pitch all year.”
Brown had a chance to play some of his younger players like Jake Finley and Jade Chimo in the later innings of the game. He said he tries to work them in so they will gain some experience before the tournaments.
Tuff Price took the loss for the Red Sox. He was relieved by David McCoy and then Dodge Hurley came in to finish the game. Kody Lane was 3-for-2 for the Red Sox and had a triple and an RBI.
The Bucs defeated Salmon in their opening game of the tournament, 6-3. Tommy Shepard pitched a complete game for the Bucs and only allowed five hits. He walked three and struck out nine batters. Kevin McGee was 3-for-1 with an RBI. Noah Baney had two RBIs and Finley knocked one in as well.
The Bucs then took on the team from Meridian, Idaho. Brown was pleased with how his team played against the Rangers.
“They came in and gave us a tough match up. I thought we handled the diversity pretty well. We started off pretty slow, but it took only a couple of runs to win us the game.”
The Bucs won, 4-0, but the game was very close. The Bucs scored one run in the second inning and three in the third and then held off the Rangers for the win. Baney picked up the win in his first game back pitching after sustaining an injury in May. Austin Nogle came in to close. Nogle and Kadin Beller were both 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“Our defense is playing fantastic and we’ve been pitching the ball really well which kept us in the game,” said Brown. After having a couple of pitchers out with injuries, Brown was glad to have Baney back. “We’ve got Noah Baney back and he pitched really well.”
The Bucs also defeated the defending state champions, the Billings Blue Jays, 7-3. The Bucs scored all of their runs in the fifth inning. Tyler Thorson was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Hansen had a triple and an RBI. Patrick Pape was the winning pitcher. Beller was named the tournament MVP.
The Red Sox defeated the Missoula Pioneers, 7-1. Kyle Norman was the MVP for the game. Their next opponent was Salmon. The Sox won, 4-1, and Tyler Scheffer was the MVP. Meridian fell to the Red Sox, 7-3.