BLACKFOOT — Mother Nature showed her bi-polar personality on Wednesday afternoon and the Blackfoot Broncos were swept by Hillcrest as they battled the elements and the Knights falling 10-6 in the opener and then dropped the nightcap 8-6 in eight innings.
"It was a difficult day today," Blackfoot head coach Jeff Katseanes said. "We had our chances, especially there in the second game but we just didn't close it out."
In game one the Broncos found themselves down 7-1 entering the bottom half of the fifth inning. The young Broncos got the offensive machine started in that home half however as they trotted 10 batters to the plate, scoring 4 runs to cut the deficit to 7-5. Colton Fairchild, Jaron Katseanes , Justin Mathie, Cody Evans and Brakkin Leavitt each had a hit in the uprising.
Hillcrest answered back with a three spot in the top of the sixth and despite a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning, Blackfoot was unable to regain the momentum or the lead.
"We lost so much off of last years team, especially in our pitching staff," coach Katseanes said. "You know the guys are showing progress. They are coming together and they will start gelling. This group of kids will be pretty much the same group of kids that we will have next year. We have a long way to go but they are a great group of kids, very coachable and we will get this thing ironed out."
In game two Hillcrest struck first with a single run in the top of the first inning of play.
Blackfoot tied the game in spectacular fashion in the bottom of the frame as Brakkin Leavitt singled, stole second, then stole third and then showed off his skills thievery as he stole home for Blackfoot's first run of the game.
Blackfoot gained their first lead of the day in the bottom of the second inning as Leavitt drove in a pair of runs with a 2RBI double. Katseanes and Zach Later had swatted singles to put runners on the base paths and after two innings of play Blackfoot led 4-1.
As the rain began to pour, the umpires then decided to push through to the fifth inning and after the third out in the top of the fifth inning Blackfoot thought that the game was over with them leading 5-3.
The men in blue changed their minds however and the game continued, eventually going 8-innings.
Blackfoot had their chances at winning the game out right in the sixth and seventh innings. With the game tied at 5-5 entering the bottom of the sixth Shad Lewis, Zach Lewis and Cody Evans each reached base via a base on balls and with two outs, Leavitt once again came through with a RBI base knock for a 6-5 lead.
Unfortunately, Hillcrest was able to get a little two out magic of their own in the top of the seventh, plating the tying run to send the game into bonus frames.
"We just couldn't quite get it done there at the end," coach Katseanes said. "That is a spot where we need to come together as a team, get to know one another and get those leaders that will provide us that leadership that we will need on this team."
Hillcrest tallied a pair of runs in the eighth inning and Blackfoot was unable to answer in the home half of the inning leading to the disappointing loss of a game that they thought that they had in hand.
Blackfoot will be in action each of the next three days as they travel to Twin Falls where they will be defending their championship from last year.
"We seem to be able to pull it together after the Twin Falls tournament, it is usually the thing that gets us going and I don't look for it to change this year," coach Katseanes said. "We won that tournament last year and I feel confident that we can go and win it again this year. It will rely on some of these kids stepping up into the leadership roles and I'm excited about it.
Blackfoot plays a pair of games today with Marsh Falls at 12:30 and then Kimberly at 3:30.
HILLCREST 105 103 0 - 10 10 1
BLACKFOOT 010 040 1 - 6 11 1
Blackfoot leading hitters - Cody Evans 2-4, Brakkin Leavitt 2-4 2B, Jaron Katseanes 2-3, Zach Later 1-2 2B
HILLCREST 102 002 12 - 8 7 2
BLACKFOOT 131 001 00 - 6 5 3
Blackfoot leading hitters - Brakkin Leavitt 3-4 2B 3SB 3RBI, Zach Later 1-3 2R