SIDNEY -- The Laurel Dodgers won the Eastern A district Legion baseball tournament on Saturday with a 16-6 victory over the Billings Blue Jays.
The win sends the Dodgers (45-15) to the Class A state tournament, which begins in Lewistown on Tuesday. Lewistown also advances to state from the East by virtue of being the tourney host.
It was the Dodgers' sixth consecutive district tournament championship.
Anthony Panella went 4 for 5 with three doubles and two RBIs to pace Laurel’s offense, which hammered out 21 hits. Kam Fisher, Trevor Meier, Jake Anderson and Dawson Cortese each had three hits. Anderson and Cortese drove in three runs apiece.
Dodgers starter Brenden Cellmer scattered seven hits through six innings to earn the victory.
Laurel coach Doug Studiner said the Dodgers geared for the postseason all year long.
“It’s what we built for all year. We had spent the all year trying to develop a pitching staff. We did that and were totally confident and healthy and got nice performances out of every one of the guys that threw. We still have some horses in the barn that didn’t get the opportunity to pitch," Studiner said. "The bats really came alive in the semifinal and championship game where we had 34 hits total. That is clicking on all cylinders."
John O’Donnell had three hits and three RBIs for the Blue Jays. Cole McKenzie, Sean Jones, Ben Askelson and Chris Bushard also drove in runs.
The Blue Jays advanced to the championship game with a 10-1 victory over Glasgow in a loser-out game earlier Saturday.