REXBURG — The Blackfoot Broncos got a trio of home runs on Saturday afternoon from Dallas Bitton, Shawn Whitehead and Colby Pearson as they shrugged off a sloppy first game and split the double-header at Madison by cruising to a 11-1 win in the nightcap.
"That second game we came out and played baseball the way that we know that we can play," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. "Top to bottom I thought that the kids did a tremendous job."
In game one, Blackfoot struggled with Madison starting pitcher Chad Snell who adjusted well to the high strike zone being offered by the umpire behind the plate as he sat down 13 Blackfoot hitters via strikeout.
Despite that, it was unearned runs allowed by the Blackfoot defense that did the Broncos in as they dropped the opener 10-2.
Wasted in the effort was a towering 2-run dinger off the bat of Shawn Whitehead in the top of the third inning.
"Not to take anything away from their pitcher, because he threw well in game one but I thought that he was beatable," coach Dahle said. "I felt that the zone was being squeezed a bit for our pitcher and that it expanded some for him which frustrated our guys a little bit."
Any frustration from game one was never evident in game two as Blackfoot settled down and commenced on the mission of salvaging a split. Blackfoot opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning as Trae Pilster scored on a Cole Mansaneraz RBI single.
Blackfoot added to that lead in the top of the third inning when Beau Hoskins led off the frame with a double. A single by Pilster put runners at the corners for the meat of the order with nobody out. Whitehead was able to score Hoskins on a RBI ground out and a booted ball by the third baseman allowed Mansanarez to reach base a batter after that. With two on and two outs Colby Pearson then took a Madison offering deep and over the left field fence for a three run homer and a 5-0 Blackfoot lead.
That proved to be more than enough for starting pitcher Shawn Whitehead who did a masterful job of playing keep away with the Madison hitters. In both the second and third innings Madison was able to load the bases against Whitehead but in each instance, Whitehead buckled down and stranded those runners on base. In the second inning it was courtesy of back-to-back-to-back strikeouts, frustrating the Cats' and their fans.
"I guess that Shawn likes to pitch with pressure or something," coach Dahle said. "He did an awesome job of focusing when he had runners on base. He threw a good game."
Dallas Bitton put the cherry on top for the Broncos in the top of the seventh inning when he also connected with a fast ball that leapt from his bat and carried over the left field wall for the games final score.
"The ball must have been carrying good to left field today," coach Dahle said. "Seriously though, the guys did a good job of getting good swings on the ball today, especially in the second game."
Blackfoot (6-5, 4-4) will host Highland tomorrow at 4:30.
MADISON 10, BLACKFOOT 2
BHS 002 000 0 - 2 4 4
MHS 042 202 x - 10 14 1
Blackfoot hitting - Brakkin Leavitt 1-3, Shawn Whitehead 1-3 HR; pitching - Sam Cannon (L) 5IP 9R 3ER 13H 3K 1BB 1HP, Jeremy Johnson 1IP 1R 1ER 1H 0K 0BB
Madison hitting - Lincoln Sutton 4-4 2B, Chad Snell 3-4, Nate Lee 2-4; pitching - Chad Snell (W) 7IP 2R 2ER 4H 13K 1BB 2HP
BLACKFOOT 11, MADISON 1
BHS 104 014 1 - 11 12 1
MHS 000 100 0 - 1 6 4
Blackfoot hitting - Beau Hoskins 4-4 2B, Trae Pilster 2-3, Brakkin Leavitt 2-4 2B, Colby Pearson 1-3 HR, Dallas Bitton 1-3 HR; pitching - Shawn Whitehead (W) 7IP 1R 0ER 6H 7K 5BB 1HP
Madison hitting - Will Evans 1-3 2B, Chad Snell 1-3 2B; pitching - Lincoln Sutton (L) 3IP 5R 1ER 5H 0K 0BB, Tyson Drake 4IP 6R 3ER 7H 4K 1BB