SHELLEY — It was a strange day on the Shelley baseball diamond as the Russets welcomed Blackfoot to town for a conference tilt between the two schools. After battling through wind, rain, ten fielding errors and a thirteen walks the game was called in the top of the sixth inning when Shelley was unable to field a full squad after losing a player, leading to a 14-12 Blackfoot win.
"This was a strange game but we came out and swung the bats good from the top of the lineup to the bottom so I was pretty happy with the kids there," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. "I don't know for sure what happened with that Shelley kid and it certainly isn't the way you want to win a ball game but we'll take it for another conference win and we'll come back tomorrow and hopefully we will take care of business."
The game was anything but pretty from a defensive perspective as both teams booted the ball five times, leading to a whopping 15 unearned runs between the two squads.
That being said, the offense certainly was in high gear for both teams as extra runners were cashed in regularly with solid base hits as the two teams combined for 23 hits in just five innings of play.
"We put up 14 runs in 5 innings, which you really couldn't ask for much more because that should be enough to win most ball games but today you just didn't know what was going to happen because on the other side, Shelley was putting together a good run on us," coach Dahle said.
Blackfoot opened the game with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. Brakkin Leavitt carried the big stick in the first inning as he narrowly missed a home run, settling for a 2-RBI double as he plated Beau Hoskins and Trae Pilster.
Shelley responded with a trio of runs in the home half of the second inning when they cashed in on three hits, three walks and a Blackfoot throwing error. Braxton Ball got the lone RBI in the uprising.
Blackfoot extended the lead to 9-3 in the top of the fourth inning when Hoskins led off with a single. A pair of fielding miscues by the Russets allowed Trae Pilster and Shawn Whitehead to reach base and both of them scored when Cole Mansanerez roped a double over the centerfielders head. On the next at bat, Colby Pearson then squared up a Chase Lott offering, sending the ball deep and far over the left field fence for a 2-run dinger.
"Colby had a big shot, Cole is hitting the ball hard and Beau has the prettiest swing that you will ever want to see," coach Dahle said. "It's good to see the kids starting to get hot heading into districts and hopefully we will stay hot tomorrow."
Shelley was not going to lay down and quit however as they bounced back in the home half of the frame, sending 13 hitters to the plate while they scored 8 runs in the outburst.
In the frame Shelley were able to collect 5 hits, including a double by Konner Gilstrap and a 2-RBI single by Lott.
Blackfoot also helped in the inning when the defense added four errors in the frame and heading to the top of the fifth, Shelley led 11-9.
"The positive today was with the way the kids hit today," Shelley head coach Tom Bird said. "The young kids are really starting to hit for us and if we can shore up our defense we are right there. We are playing a good game but we have got to play defense. A couple of key mistakes tends to open the floodgates but watching my kids hit the ball like they did, making things happen, that was impressive."
Blackfoot responded to the rough fourth inning with an equally as impressive top of the fifth when they batted around, scoring 5 runs on 5 hits while Shelley also added a pair of errors in the frame.
A lone run in the bottom of the fifth by the Russets made the score 14-12 but as the teams were preparing to take the field in the top of the sixth Shelley had lost a player and with no one on the bench to enter for them, the game was called by the umpiring crew.
Both teams will return today when Shelley comes to Blackfoot for the rematch beginning at 4:30. Blackfoot will honor their seniors prior to the first pitch.
BLACKFOOT 14, SHELLEY 12
Blackfoot 220 55 - 14 11 5
Shelley 030 81 - 12 12 5
Blackfoot hitters - Beau Hoskins 3-3 2B 4R, Brakkin Leavitt 3-4 (2)2B, Colby Pearson 1-2 HR; pitching - Shawn Whitehead 3 1/3IP 8R 3ER 5H 5K 5BB, Jeremy Johnson 2/3IP 3R 0ER 4H 1K 1BB, Cody Evans (W) 1IP 1R 1ER 3H 0K 0BB
Shelley hitters - Chase Lott 2-3 2B, Konner Gilstrap 3-4 2B, Josh Peterson 2-4, Braxton Ball 3-4; pitching Chase Lott (L) 5IP 14R 7ER 11H 2K 7BB 1HP