Broncos win big on senior day
BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot sent their seniors out in style on Monday night as they took to the home diamond for the final time as they tangled with Bingham County rival Shelley.
After a moving ceremony the Broncos took to the field looking for a season sweep of the Russets, handing the ball to senior Sam Cannon on the hill.
Shelley came out swinging against Cannon, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning as Sam Graham led off with a double. Kade Longhurst plated Graham with a single and later scored courtesy of a Tyler Kidman sacrifice for the quick 2-0 lead.
"I think emotionally we started a little bit tight," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. "The guys were pressing a little bit to start but once they got calmed down they did a good job of focusing in on what they needed to be doing."
Cannon settled in however as he shrugged off a fielding miscue to escape the inning with no further damage. Cannon then looked sharp when he returned to the mound for the second inning, recording a pair of strike outs before getting hit in the lower leg by a hard line drive that put an end to Cannons evening.
Cody Evans entered in relief and did the home town crowd proud as he stymied the Russet bats for the remainder of the game, working 3 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing no hits while striking out 3 Russet hitters.
"Cody did a good job of coming in and throwing strikes," coach Dahle said. "He did a good job of staying ahead of the hitters and his defense played well behind him."
On the other side, Shelley's Braxton Ball was pitching well for the Russets, allowing just a single run in the second inning as he carried a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning of play.
"It hurts when you lose," Shelley head coach Tom Bird said. "But when you break it down step by step we did some good things, we were right there against a very good team for 4 innings and I have nothing but praise for these guys. Braxton Ball, I know that he is dying right now because he hates to lose but he is learning so much and he will grow from this and I look forward to the future with these guys."
Cole Mansanarez then strode to the plate, leading off the bottom of the fourth with a towering solo shot over the left field fence to tie the game at 2-2. Colby Pearson then reached on an error and later scored on a RBI single by Dallas Bitton.
Bitton eventually scored when Beau Hoskins raked an RBI double into the gap and suddenly the Broncos led 4-2.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, the second out registered, a diving 4 star play by center-fielder Brakkin Leavitt, the Broncos returned to the plate looking for more.
Leavitt followed up his defensive gem with a lead off single and later scored on a RBI double by Shawn Whitehead. That was the beginning of an 8 run inning that witnessed 11 Bronco hitters striding to the plate with 6 of those getting base hits. Whitehead ended the game with his second RBI double of the frame as Blackfoot finished the sweep of the Russets with a 12-2 final.
Blackfoot (7-6, 6-4) are off until the conference tournament which begins on Saturday where they may host a first round game.
Shelley (4-9, 1-7) will host Bonneville today for senior night at 4:30 P.M.
BLACKFOOT 12, SHELLEY 2
Shelley 200 00 - 2 3 4
Blackfoot 010 38 - 12 10 1
Shelley hitters - Sam Graham 1-3 2B, Kaden Schmitt 1-3, Kade Longhurst 1-3; pitching - Braxton Ball 4 2/3 IP 12R 4ER 10H 1K 6BB
Blackfoot hitters - Beau Hoskins 3-4 (2)2B, Shawn Whitehead 2-3 (2)2B, Cole Mansanarez 2-3 HR; pitching Sam Cannon 1 2/3IP 2R 2ER 3H 3K 1BB, Cody Evans 3 1/3 IP 0R 0ER 0H 3K