BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot American Legion baseball squad opened their 2012 campaign on Thursday evening as they welcomed the Pocatello Rebels to Blackfoot High School.
Last season, the Rebels swept the Broncos but Blackfoot turned the tables on the team from down south as they picked up a pair of wins 9-3 in game one and 12-11 in the night cap.
"Wins are wins but it was nice to come out and get two today," Blackfoot skipper Jeff Katseanes said. "They swept us last year and today we were able to get a little revenge."
Game one witnessed the Broncos in complete control from opening pitch to the final out as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first inning as Colby Pearson helped his own cause with an RBI single to score Russell Osborn.
Pearson ignited a 3 run third inning with a lead off triple, scoring one batter later along with Jaron Katseanes who had reached via a base on balls, when Cody Evans raked a 2RBI double.
Pearson was the beneficiary of the run support, working 3 1/3 innings for the win, scattering 2 hits and striking out 8 before turning the ball over to the bull pen.
"Colby pitched well in the first game but we were watching pitch counts close today because we have a big week up next week along with a double header against Snake River on Saturday so we wanted to keep the pitch counts down around 30-40 pitches," Coach Katseanes said.
Dylan Mansanarez and Russell Osborn worked the final 3 2/3 innings in relief as the Blackfoot offense added two more runs in the fourth and three more runs in the fifth for the win.
"We pounded the ball at the plate which was good to see," Coach Katseanes said.
In the night cap, Blackfoot kept the offensive momentum going as they eventually built a 10-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning. Cole Mansanarez was the biggest stick in the line up over the first five innings as he swatted a pair of doubles to lead the charge.
Pocatello were far from done however as they roared back for 6 runs in the sixth inning and three more runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 11-11.
Despite the change in momentum, Blackfoot rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning as Justin Mathie led off with a single, stole second base and then came racing home with the game winning run when Shad Lewis roped an RBI double down the left field line.
Dylan Mansanarez picked up the win in the nightcap by closing out the seventh inning when he came into the ball game with the bases loaded for the second time on the evening.
"We put Dylan in a couple of tight spots tonight," Coach Katseanes said. "He did a great job of battling hard for us though."
Blackfoot (2-0) will travel to Snake River on Saturday for a double header beginning at high noon.
BLACKFOOT 9, POCATELLO 3
Pocatello 000 300 0 - 3 4 2
Blackfoot 103 230 x - 9 12 0
Pocatello - Stiffler 1-2 R, Farnsworth 2B RBI R, Mullory 1-3 RBI; pitching - Gorgeson (L) 3 2/3IP 6R 7H 3K 9BB, Bowers 2 1/3IP 3R 5H 0K 1BB.
Blackfoot - Zach Later 2-4, Colby Pearson 3-4 3B 2R 2RBI, Jaron Katseanes 2-3 2SB, Cody Evans 2-4 2B 2SB 2R 2RBI; pitching - Colby Pearson (W) 3 1/3IP 3R 2H 8K 3BB, Dylan Mansanarez 2 2/3IP 0R 2H 1K 1BB, Russell Osborn 1IP 0R 2K 0H 0BB.
BLACKFOOT 12, POCATELLO 11
Pocatello 000 206 3 - 11 7 6
Blackfoot 023 231 1 - 11 11 3
Pocatello - Beck 2-5 3RBI, Guberson 2-3 2R, Bowers 2-2 R.
Blackfoot - Shad Lewis 2-5 (2)2B 3RBI, Russell Osborn 2-3 2R, Cole Mansanarez 2-2 (2)2B, Zach Later 1-1 2B, Taylor Pearson 2-4, Cade Adaki 3BB 3R; pitching - Jaron Katseanes 3IP 0R 1H 3K 1BB 1HP, Brady Trappett 1IP 2R 2H 0BB 1K, Zach Later 1IP 4R 1H 2K 3BB, Dallon Fairchild 2/3IP 2R 2H 2K BB HP, Taylor Pearson 1/3IP 0R 0H 0K 0BB, Colton Fairchild 1/3IP 3R 0H 0K 1BB 2HP, Dylan Mansanarez (W) 2/3IP 0R 1H 0K 0BB 2HP.