ONTARIO, OR – Make no doubt about it, the Snake River Panthers had more than their fare share of opportunities to be playing in today’s 3A state baseball championship game but unfortunately, 12 stranded base runners and way too many free passes enabled the Kimberly Bulldogs to steal a semi-final victory from the Panthers by the final tally of 9-7.
“Walks, just killed us today,” Snake River head coach James Carter said. “Don’t take anything away from Kimberly, they are a great team and we knew that we would be in for a dog fight today but in the end, we just gave them way too many walks.”
Certainly 9 free passes hurt the Panthers causes but despite that, Snake River had ample chances on the offensive end to overcome that statistic in the box score as the men from Moreland pounded out 15 hits on the afternoon to only 8 hits for the Bulldogs.
“We hit the ball today I mead 15 hits, that should be more than enough to get a win,” Coach Carter said. “We out hit them 15-8 but when they got the big hit when they needed to drive in a run and we just couldn’t get that hit when we needed it.”
Snake River ended the game with 12 base runners stranded by games end, the biggest blow a sixth inning rally which stalled with the bases full of Panthers.
Snake River led 3-1 after a big first inning in which the big hit certainly was present as Travis Robertson roped a one out, 2-RBI double off the left field wall and later scored as Shane Parkinson ripped a two out RBI single.
Kimberly answered back with a four run second inning for a lead which they held until the fourth inning when the Panthers retied the game at 7-7 courtesy of a 2RBI double off the bat of Nate Martin.
“We know that we can play with these teams,” Coach Carter said. “This one hurt but now we just have to come out tomorrow with that belief that we can beat the team that we will be playing and just get the job done.”
Six different Panthers had multi hit games on Friday with Cash Cardona leading the charge with a 3 for 4 day. Wyatt Wray was 2 for 3 while Shane Parkinson, Bret Parkinson, Nate Martin, Bret Parkinson and Travis Robertson each collected two hits on the afternoon.
Snake River will play for third place today at 1 P.M. against the loser of Fruitland/St. Maries.
KIMBERLY 9, SNAKE RIVER 7
Kimberly 141 102 0 – 9 8 1
Snake River 311 200 0 – 7 15 1
Kimberly – Ridge Lee 3-3 2RBI 2R, James Higgenbotham 2-4 2B, Bo Peterson 1-2 RBI; pitching – James Wathen 1IP 3R 4H 2K 1BB 1HP, James Higgenbothem 2IP 4R 7H 0K 1BB 1WP 1BK, Clay Mathews (W) 4IP 0R 4H 1K 1BB.
Snake River – Bret Parkinson 2-5 2R, Travis Robertson 2-4 2B 3RBI, Nate Martin 2-4 2B 2RBI, Shane Parkinson 2-4, Cash Cardona 3-4, Wyatt Wray 2-3; pitching – Zane Stephenson 2IP 5R 2H 1K 4BB 2HP 1WP, Cash Cardona (L) 5IP 4R 6H 0K 5BB.