SHELLEY — County foes collided on Tuesday afternoon as the Shelley Russets welcomed the Firth Cougars to town for a day on the diamond. The day's festivities came down to the seventh inning of play as Firth broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the top of the frame, only to see that elation shift to disappointment when Shelley scored two runs in the home half for the 5-4 victory.
"Always happy with a win and this makes it two in a row. I would like to have a few that are a little more easy because you can get old real fast if you have to keep coming back in the seventh inning," Shelley head coach Trent Armstrong said. "It shows the kids resiliency. They are going to stay in it up till the end."
It was the visiting Cougars who came out hot to begin the game as they raced out to a 3-0 advantage after two innings of play. Dalton Cate drilled an RBI double in the opening frame to score Connor Montgomery who had reached via a Russet fielding miscue.
Firth tallied two more runs in the top of the second inning as Mason Cook and Nick Anderson each picked up hits to lead off the inning, eventually scoring for the Cougars.
The bats went cold from there however as Firth mustered just two more hits for the remainder of the evening.
"We had them beat the whole game," Firth head coach Scott Adams said. "We outplayed them in my book. Pitching wise, fielding wise but offensively we stopped hitting after the third inning. We didn't lost the game on the last error. We lost the game when we stopped hitting in the third inning."
Shelley eventually tied the game with a three run home half of the fourth inning. Tyler Bean drew a one out walk to ignite the rally and after a Colt Johnson single and a Trevin Swensen bunt the bases were loaded for Caleb Pack. Pack responded with a 3 RBI double for the tying runs.
The score remained knotted at 3 until the seventh inning when Mason Cook drove home Taylor Richards with a two out, RBI single for the 4-3 Cougar lead.
Back came the Russets however as Caleb Pack was grazed by a pitch to open the fateful frame. Kalen Young sacrificed Pack to second and he advanced to third on a wild pitch, eventually scoring courtesy of a sacrifice fly to left field by Josh Guiterrez. Kaden Schmitt followed with a triple and then scored the winning run on a Firth error when Josh Peterson put the ball into play.
Shelley threw six different pitchers on Tuesday with Peterson picking up the win for his work in the seventh inning.
"I have six games this week and we need to figure out how to get through six games with twelve kids so the plan today was to use it as a bull pen," coach Armstrong said. "I threw a kid in each inning except Schmitt who threw two innings because he hasn't had any work this year. Basically we wanted to get everyone some work before Thursday, Friday and Saturday when we will play five games."
Firth will look to rebound from the setback when they make the long bus ride to Driggs today for a non-conference tilt with the Redskins. Shelley will travel to Snake River on Thursday where they will lock horns with the Panthers.
SHELLEY 5, FIRTH 4
Shelley 000 300 2 — 5 7 6
Firth 120 000 1 — 4 4 4
Firth hitters - Connor Montgomery 1-3 2B R, Dalton Cate 1-3 2B RBI, Jake Orme 1-3, Mason Cook 2-3 RBI, Nick Andersen 1-3 R. pitching - Taylor Richards 4IP 3R 4H 2K 1BB 1HP, Connor Montgomery (L) 2 2/3IP 2R 2H 0K 0BB 1HP.
Shelley hitters - Kaden Schmitt 2-4 3B, Konner Gilstrap 1-3 2B, Josh Guiterrez 1-2 RBI, Caleb Pack 1-2 2B 3RBI. pitching - Braxton Ball 1IP 1R 2H 1K 1BB, Caleb Pack 1IP 2R 2H 0K 1BB, Konner Gilstrap 1IP 0R 0H 1K 3BB, Kaden Schmitt 2IP 0R 0H 4K 0BB, Tyler Bean 1IP 0R 1H 1K 0BB, Josh Peterson (W) 1IP 1R 1H 0K 0BB.