BLACKFOOT — It was a fabulous way to end the regular season and for a quintet of seniors and even better way to leave the home field a winner as the Blackfoot Broncos sent Jeremy Leavitt, Jeremy Johnson, Jaron Katseanes, Colton Fairchild and Shawn Whitehead home with fond memories of their 13-2 conference win over Rigby on Wednesday evening.
"It was nice to get a home win," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said.
Not only did the seniors go away winners on senior night but they each played big roles in the final outcome of the game as well.
Jeremy Leavitt had a stellar 2 for 4 game in the lead off position for the Broncos as he drove in 4 RBI on the night.
Colton Fairchild was equally as impressive as the big first baseman drilled an RBI double on his way to a 2 for 3 performance.
Jeremy Johnson and Jaron Katseanes both picked up a pair of hits and both crossed the plate twice in a huge 11 run fourth inning which sealed the deal for the Broncos.
Perhaps most impressive however was the efforts of Shawn Whitehead who picked up a win for his 5 innings of 2 run baseball pitched on the bump for Blackfoot. Whitehead scattered 7 hits while striking out 6 and helped his own cause with a towering 3 run homer over the left field fence in the mammoth fourth inning.
"We've talked about setting the tempo of a ball game," Coach Dahle said. "That tempo all starts on the mound and tonight Shawn threw well, our defense went and attacked the baseball when it was put in play and once we took control in the field, it carried over to the plate."
Rigby led 1-0 after a lone run in the top of the second inning but Blackfoot quickly erased that deficit with a 2 run home half of the frame with Fairchild ripping an RBI double down the left field line to score Zach Later who was running for Whitehead who had reached via a base on balls. Fairchild scored two batters later as Johnson and Katseanes each hit singles.
Rigby tied the game with a run in the third inning before Blackfoot put the hammer down in a fourth inning that witnessed each member of the Blackfoot lineup reaching base and eventually scoring.
"We started the inning playing small ball, getting the bunts down and forcing Rigby to make a play. They are an inexperienced team and we took advantage of that," Coach Dahle said. Even Shawns at bat he squares around on the first pitch, gets a good look at the ball and then crushes the homer. It's nice to see the small things adding up to big results. Hopefully we will be able to carry this forward into districts."
WIth the win Blackfoot improves their season record to 12-9, 6-4 in conference play and finish in a tie for third with Hillcrest. Hillcrest wins the tie breaker due to their split with conference leading Bonneville so Blackfoot will face this same Rigby squad on Saturday. The winning team will then advance to the double elimination tournament which will begin on Monday at Melalueca Field. The loser will pack up their cleats for the season.
BLACKFOOT 13, RIGBY 2 (5 innings)
Rigby 011 00 - 2 7 4
Blackfoot 020 (11)x - 13 11 2
Rigby - Taylor Anderson 2-3, Conner DaBell 1-2 RBI, Porter Marley 2-2, Ty Cherry 1-3 RBI; pitching - Ty Cherry (L) 3+IP 9R 7H 1K 1BB 1HP, Ben Mickelson 1IP 4R 4H 1K 0BB 1HP.
Blackfoot - Jeremy Leavitt 2-4 4RBI, Cody Evans 2-4, Colby Pearson 1-2 2B SB 2RBI, Shawn Whitehead 1-2 HR 3RBI, Colton Fairchild 2-3 2B, Jeremy Johnson 2-3 2R; pitching - Shawn Whitehead (W) 5IP 2R 7H 6K 4BB 1HP.