By MARK HIGH
BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot Bronco baseball squad opened their 2013 season on Thursday afternoon and after a shaky start, the men in green pulled it all together in a 7-6 hard fought victory over 5A Idaho Falls.
"Like I told the boys, first game of the season and we saw a lot of good things and we also saw a lot of things that we can work to improve on," Blackfoot head coach Kenny Dahle said. "Overall I'm proud of the boys though. Idaho Falls are a good, young, well coached team and its always big to pick up a win against them."
The visiting Tigers took advantage of a couple of nervous fielding miscues by the Broncos to begin the contest, eventually taking a 3-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Blackfoot responded in the home half of the frame however as Cody Evans drew a lead off walk and then came trotting around the bases one bater later when Cole Mansanarez took an inside offering and promptly deposited it onto the tennis courts in left field for a 2 run dinger.
"We hit the ball in key situations to score our runs," coach Dahle said. "We get behind 3-0 and a lot of kids will hang their heads but these guys battled and answered right back. For us to come back and answer early was huge because getting those first runs, they are always the toughest to get and to come right back and score it just put's them [Idaho Falls] back on their heels defensively and it makes us more comfortable."
Idaho Falls picked up a lone run on a solo dinger in the top of the second but Blackfoot took the lead for good in the bottom of the second inning as they sent eight batters to the plate in a 4 run uprising.
The run support was very much appreciated by Dylan Mansanarez who entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Russel Osborn in the top of the third inning. Mansanarez was efficient as he held the Tiger batters to just 3 hits over his three innings of work and allowed no runs in his time on the bump.
"Three different pitchers threw for us today and they each did a great job of throwing strikes and keeping the ball down," coach Dahle said. "We wanted to keep pitch counts down and each of them came in and did great for us."
Dallan Fairchild closed out the game for the Broncos, working the final two innings in the season opener.
Blackfoot (1-0) will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Minico for a non-conference tilt with the Spartans beginning at 11 a.m.
"Minico are a whole different beast," coach Dahle said. "They have been outside for about three weeks and they just played a good Bonneville team very tough so we know that we will be heading into a tough contest but I think that we will come out and give them a game."
BLACKFOOT 7, IDAHO FALLS 6
Idaho Falls 310 001 1 - 6 11 0
Blackfoot 240 100 x - 7 7 3
IDAHO FALLS - Leading hitters: W. Jones 2-4 (HR 2RBI), A. Clements 2-4, J. Hyland 2-4 (3B 2RBI), M. Bensen 3-3 (2RBI). Pitchers: S. Clements (L) 1 1/3IP 3H 5BB 0K 5R, C. Holland 1 2/3IP 3H 2BB 1K 1R, M. Walker 2IP 1H 1BB 1K 1R, C. Canty 1IP 0H 1BB 1K 0R.
BLACKFOOT - Leading hitters: C. Evans 2-3 (2R), C. Mansanarez 1-3 (HR 2RBI), C. Pearson 1-2 (2R), J. Mathie 2-3 (2B 2RBI). Pitchers: R. Osborn 2IP 5H 1BB 3K 4R, D. Mansanarez (W) 3IP 3H 0BB 1K 0R, D. Fairchild 2IP 3H 1BB 2K 2R.