BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot Broncos returned to the diamond on Wednesday afternoon, welcoming conference foe Rigby to town for a double-dip between the two schools.
At the end of a long afternoon, the Broncos found themselves on the right end of a sweep, winning game one 7-1 and then the nightcap 12-6.
“I was a little bit concerned before the game because this is the first time we’ve played in about 10 day,” Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. “To come out and get a pair of conference wins was huge for us. It will definitely build our confidence as we go forward and to start 3-1 in conference is huge.”
In the opener, the Broncos handed the ball to senior hurler Sam Cannon and the elusive one turned in a masterful performance, striking out 11 Rigby Trojans in a complete game victory.
“Sam pitched a great game for us today,” coach Dahle said. “He was a little rough in the first inning but then he just settled in and did a great job of staying ahead of their hitters.”
Offensively the Broncos got 9 hits, one from each member in the line up. Beau Hoskins had the only extra base hit, a double that scored a pair in the sixth.
In game two, the Broncos battled both the now desperate Trojans and a sideways blowing rain storm.
Rigby was able to get a quick lead with a pair of runs in the first inning off of starting pitcher Shawn Whitehead but the Broncos answered back immediately in the home half of the frame.
Trae Pilster set the table courtesy of a Trojan error, one of seven miscues in the game by the Trojans. A walk by Colby Pearson followed and one batter later Brakkin Leavitt swatted a run scoring single. Another walk followed with Cole Mansanarez trotting down to first before Coltin Fairchild picked up an RBI with a solid single to right and at the end of one inning of play, Blackfoot led 4-2.
“We were able to pick up some big hits when we really needed them and it was nice to see the balanced hitting both up and down the line up,” coach Dahle said. “I really thought that the bottom of the order came up huge for us in the second game, they all did a good job today.”
With the 2-run lead, Whitehead settled down, holding the Trojans scoreless until a fourth inning uprising. An innocent error ignited the rally that eventually led to relief pitcher Jeremy Johnson entering the frame with the bases loaded and two outs.
Johnson was clutch, inducing a lazy fly ball to Leavitt in centerfield for the final out.
“Jeremy did a great job,” coach Dahle said. “We put him into a tight spot with the bases loaded and he did a great job of focusing on the strike zone and hitting his spots.”
In the home half of the fourth inning, Blackfoot salted the game away, sending 10 hitters to the plate in an inning that witnessed the Broncos scoring 5 runs on just 3 hits.
Blackfoot (4-1, 3-1) will next play at Pocatello on Friday at 10 A.M. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but ACT testing has moved the game to Friday at Halliwell Park.
Rigby 000 001 0 - 1 3 4
Blackfoot 101 203 x - 7 9 1
Blackfoot leading hitters: 9 with 1, Hoskins 2B; pitching Sam Cannon (W) 7IP, 1R, 1ER, 3H, 11K, 0BB
Rigby 200 200 2 - 6 5 7
Blackfoot 412 500 x - 12 11 3
Blackfoot leading hitters: Brakkin Leavitt 2-5, Dallas Bitton 2-3, Jeremy Johnson 2-4 Pitching: Shawn Whitehead (W) 3 2/3 IP, 4R, 1ER, 4H, 5K, 4BB, 1HP; Jeremy Johnson 3 1/3 IP, 2R, 2ER, 1H, 5K, 2BB