AMMON — As the Snake River Panthers entered the bottom of the sixth inning of play on Tuesday night at Hillcrest leading 6-1 and as the rains began tumbling down the command decision was made that the scheduled double header was to become just a single game.
That was just fine with the the frigid fans in attendance and at the time it looked as if Snake River were in line for their first American Legion win of the season. Oh, how the plans turned south however as Hillcrest rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the ball game, eventually sending the game into bonus cantos in which the Royals wound up prevailing as they up ended the Panthers 7-6 in 11 innings of play.
"It was a tough loss," Snake River head coach Tom Strickland said. "We played good, the kids came out and were hitting the ball well but we just had that one inning there in the sixth which wound up doing us in."
Snake River took the early lead with an unearned run in the top of the second inning and then stretched that lead to 5-0 with a four run fourth inning. In the fourth Bret Parkinson led off with a single, scoring moments later when Travis Robertson ripped an RBI double. Konnor Gilstrap capped the inning with a 2 RBI single and the Panthers were rolling.
"The kids really came out and were hitting the ball early in the game," Coach Strickland said. "Later in the game we were still putting the ball into play but just right at them."
Shane Parkinson and Kaden Schmitt combined on the bump for the Panthers with both doing marvelous work to hold down a traditionally potent Hillcrest line up.
"I thought that Kaden did a great job coming into the game today," Coach Strickland said. "Shane was real strong and maybe he got a little tired at the end. I might have left him in a little too long."
The Snake River defense was stellar in the extra frames as they turned in big play after big play including a pick off of a would be base runner at second base by Cash Cardona as he fired a perfect strike to short stop Bret Parkinson on a strike em out, throw em out double play.
In the next inning, center fielder Travis Robertson snuck in behind the runner at second base for a double play on what should have been a sacrifice play.
"The kids played good, we made some plays. We just had a little tough luck," Coach Strickland said. "Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We'll be all right."
Snake River (0-3) will travel to Pocatello on Thursday evening for a double header with the Razorbacks beginning at 6 P.M. at Halliwell Park.
HILLCREST 7, SNAKE RIVER 6 (11 innings)
Snake River 010 401 000 00 - 6 8 3
Hillcrest 000 015 000 01 - 7 10 4
Snake River - Bret Parkinson 1-5 R, Travis Robertson 1-5 2B R, Cash Cardona 3-5 R, Konnor Gilstrap 1-4 2R.