THOMAS — The Snake River Panther American Legion squad returned to full strength for their regular season ending double dip with Madison on Friday afternoon. Needing a pair of wins for a shot at next weeks district tournament the Panthers got just that as they pulled a sweep with a pair of victories 7-5 and 7-4.
"I'm pretty happy with how it turned out today," Snake River head coach Tom Strickland said. "We told the kids that if they wanted to play next week that they would need to come out focused, play hard and play like they have for most of the year."
Kaden Schmitt took the rock for the Panthers in game one and the big right hander turned in a solid performance, working a complete game, scattering 7 hits while striking out 10 in the victory.
"We got some good pitching today and we finally started hitting the ball a little better today than we have in the last week," Coach Strickland said.
The Panther bats certainly came alive during the home half of the second inning as the Panthers erupted for five runs on five hits in the frame. Konner Gilstrap got the hit parade started with a one out double which was followed by a single by Josh Pederson. Kyler Price drove both Gilstrap and Pederson home with a 2RBI double and came around to score two batters later when Bret Parkinson legged out a 2RBI triple to help propel the Panthers to the two run victory.
In the night cap Madison built a 3-0 lead heading into the home half of the fourth inning. Snake River battled back however with Travis Robertson lighting the fuse on a 3 run inning with a lead off single. Konner Gilstrap hit one of his two doubles in the fourth inning as the Panthers tied the game at 3-3.
Snake River took the lead for good in the fifth inning as the Panthers batted around for 4 runs on 5 hits. Gilstrap and Bret Parkinson each hit doubles in the uprising which put the Panthers up for good as Cash Cardona, who entered the game in relief of Shane Parkinson closed out Madison for the victory.
"I was really impressed with how much Madison has improved since the last time we played them at the Blackfoot tournament," Coach Strickland said. "It was two good wins today."
With the wins it should assure the Panthers of a place in the district tournament which will begin next Thursday in Idaho Falls. The top two finishers in the twelve team tournament will advance to the State Tournament the following week in Pocatello.
SNAKE RIVER 7, MADISON 5
Madison 020 030 0 - 5 7 4
Snake River 050 110 x - 7 9 0
Snake River - Cash Cardona 2-3 2B, Bret Parkinson 1-3 3B 2RBI, Travis Robertson 1-3 2RBI, Shane Parkinson 1-4 3B, Konner Gilstrap 1-3 2B, Kyler Price 2-3 2B 2RBI, Josh Pederson 1-2; pitching - Kaden Schmitt 7IP 5R 7H 10K 2BB.
SNAKE RIVER 7, MADISON 4
Madison 002 101 0 - 7 4 2
Snake River 000 340 x - 7 11 4
Snake River - Trey Serr 1-3, Bret Parkinson 1-3 2B, Travis Robertson 2-4, Kaden Schmitt 2-3, Konner Gilstrap 2-3 (2)2B; pitching - Shane Parkinson 3IP 2R 2H 3K 4BB, Cash Cardona 4IP 2R 2H 2K 3BB.