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Panthers scratch out win over Russets

March 22, 2014

Snake River’s Kade Harral. #8, slides into home just before the throw as Shelley catcher Colt Johnson waits for the ball during their game at Snake River High School on Saturday.

THOMAS — With runners on first and second and two outs and facing a one run deficit Shelley's Colt Johnson came to the plate with a chance to tie the game with a base hit.
Two days after losing a close game to Shelley in a crazy windstorm, the Panthers and senior Brad Coombs had a chance to notch their first win of the season if Coombs could retire Johnson.
Coombs jumped out to a quick 0-2 count putting Johnson in a hole. With a tight breaking pitch Coombs struck out Johnson looking to preserve the Panthers 6-5 win Saturday at Snake River High School.
"As much as our pitchers were inconstant, all three pitchers found an opportunity to get a big out and get out of it," Snake River head coach Rich Dunn said. "We did a lot of things that allowed them to load the bases, but we were fortunate enough to get out each one of those jams."
On Thursday the Panthers were held hitless until the fourth inning by Russets starter Kaden Schmitt.
In the opening inning Saturday the Panthers almost matched their hit total from the previous game.
Wyatt Vogler led off the game with a single, Kade Harral followed by reaching base on a throwing error.
Trey Albertson brought both runners home when he blooped an RBI single to center field to give the Panthers and early 2-0 lead.
After a single by Seam Miller and Kade Keller was hit by a pitch, Damon Dance hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Albertson.
Klay Keller singled home Miller and then both Keller's scored on a throwing error as the Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Snake River sent 11batters to the plate in the opening inning and looked to be in complete control of the game.
But the Russets pitchers slowed down the Panthers offense the remainder of the game, while their offense found ways to generate runs and crawl back into the game.
Shelley loaded the bases in three of the first four innings of the game but only managed to scrape across one run and that run came on a Snake River throwing error.
The ability to capitalize on Snake River errors or what got the Russets back into the game in the top of the fifth inning.
After a walk to Jason Burton and a single by Hunter Carter to start the inning, Billy Butler struck out.
Braxton Smith laid down a bunt and a throwing by the Panthers catcher allowed both Burton and Carter to score and Smith ended up at third base.
Smith scored a few pitches later on a RBI groundout by Josh Peterson.
Another throwing error gave the Russets another run in the sixth, but the seventh inning rally fell short as Coombs sit the door.
"In the first inning they gave us all the opportunities to score runs and we took advantage of it then whether it was errors or a timely hit to to the ball in play and put the pressure on them."
Vogler and Miller each had two hits to lead the Panthers. Peterson and Carter recorded the only two hits on the day for Shelley.
Snake River (1-1) hosts Soda Springs on Tuesday, while Shelley (1-1) travels to Preston on Friday.

Snake River 6, Shelley 5
Shelley 010 003 10 — 5 2 4
Snake River 600 000 x — 6 7 6
Shelley — Marcus Gustaveson, Tyler Bean (6) and Colt Johnson. Snake River — Sean Miller, Wyatt Vogler (3), Brad Coombs (6) and Kade Harral, Sean Miller (3).

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