By BOB HUDSON
THOMAS — Bret Parkinson drove in five runs and Cash Cardona added two in support of Zane Stephenson's pitching as Snake River downed Marsh Valley 10-4 on Tuesday. The win gave the Panthers the Fifth District baseball title and earned them a spot in the state Class 3A tournament next week.
"Do not dangle a championship in front of these Snake River kids and challenge them," a happy coach Rich Dunn said.
He praised Stephenson, who scattered six hits and struck out eight. Both teams had plenty of defensive problems on the windy day. Each team committed six errors.
"Zane threw plenty of outs, but our defense faltered a bit," Dunn said. "We bent but we didn't break."
Snake River started slowly on offense, but got things going in the second and fourth through sixth innings.
After spotting the Eagles a first-inning run as they committed three errors, the Panthers took charge in the second. Trey Albertson opened with a triple and came home on Cash Cardona's single. Adrian Castenda was safe on an error before Parkinson singled home his first run. Cade Harral drove in the third run with a groundout.
In the fourth inning the Panthers opened when Albertson was safe on an error. Eagle third baseman Andrew Vaughan then misplayed Cardona's sacrifice bunt. Adrian Casteneda was safe on his bunt attempt to load the bases. Parkinson's single brought home two more runs.
Parkinson finished his big day with a two-run double in the fifth.
"Bret was really dialed in today," Dunn said. "And it was a great job of our eight and nine hitters (Cardona and Casteneda) to set him up.
"Today it was the power of the bunt and the power of Zane Stephenson that carried us," Dunn said. "It was just Zane bowing his neck and fighting through."
SNAKE RIVER 10, MARSH VALLEY 4
Marsh Valley 100 021 0 — 4 6 6
Snake River 030 322 x —10 8 6
Guthrie and Rowe; Stephenson and Cardona. W-Stephenson, L-Guthrie.
2B-Parkinson, SR. 3B-Albertson, SR.
Pitching - Guthrie 6IP 8H 10R 3BB 2K; Stephenson 7IP 6H 4R 2BB 7K.
Hitting - Marsh Valley Bowers 2-4 BI, Balls 1-2, Rowe 1-4, Dayton 1-4, Iverson 1-4.
Snake River - Parkinson 3-4 5BI, Cardona 2-3 2BI, Harral 1-3 BI, Martin 1-4, Albertson 1-2.