BLACKFOOT — For six innings the Blackfoot Broncos out hit, out fielded and out pitched the visiting Highland Rams on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately, the one inning in which the Rams clearly won was more than enough as they struck for 9 runs in the first inning and then coasted home, handing the Broncos a 11-5 defeat.
"I was happy with the way that the kids battled back and never quit," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. "We out hit them and played pretty even with a team that swept Hillcrest and soundly at that."
In the fateful first inning Highland roughed up starting pitcher Colby Pearson for 9 runs on 5 hits. Four free passes also aided to the early exit for Pearson as he handed the ball over to Jeremy Johnson after facing 11 Highland batters in the frame.
"Like I told the kids, you just can't give anyone nine runs and expect to get a win and in that first inning we walk four batters and with any team, especially a team as good as Highland you just can't give them free bases," coach Dahle said. "Colby is a bulldog though and he will bounce back for us I am sure."
Johnson came in and got the final out of the first and from there the righty looked just as cool as the other side of the pillow as he effectively shut down the Highland offense for the next 5 innings.
"Jeremy did a great job of coming in and throwing strikes," coach Dahle said. "We told him going in to work ahead and he did an awesome job of doing that."
Facing the large deficit, the Broncos went to work at chipping away at the Ram lead, striking back for a pair of runs in the home half of the first inning as Cole Mansanarez drove in Brakkin Leavitt and Shawn Whitehead with a sharp single.
Blackfoot added two more runs in the bottom of the third as Leavitt led off the frame with a double off the fence in left field and after advancing to third on a ground out by Whitehead, Leavitt then scampered home on a wild pitch.
Mansanarez then singled and was sped up on the bases by Cody Evans who stole second and then scored on a Coltin Fairchild RBI single to right field.
That was as close as the Broncos could get however as the Rams were able to end the fifth, sixth and seventh innings with double-plays, thwarting the comeback efforts of the men in green.
Blackfoot (6-6, 4-4) will travel to Shelley on Thursday for a conference tilt with the Russets.
HIGHLAND 11, BLACKFOOT 5
Highland 900 001 1 - 11 9 3
Blackfoot 202 000 1 - 5 12 3
Highland hitters - Ashby 4-5 2B, Wise 1-5 2B, Harding 2-4 2B 3RBI; pitching - Burrup (W) 5IP 4R 4ER 10H 4K 1BB 1HP; Watt 1IP 0R 0ER 1H; Buffat 1IP 1R 0ER 1H 1K
Blackfoot hitters - Brakkin Leavitt 2-4 2B, Cole Mansaneraz 3-3, Coltin Fairchild 2-3, Shawn Whitehead 1-4 2B; pitching - Colby Pearson (L) 2/3IP 9R 9ER 5H 2K 4BB; Jeremy Johnson 5 1/3 2R 1ER 5H 1K 2BB; Cody Evans 1IP 0R 0H 1K 0BB