AMMON — With the bases loaded and two outs and the game tied 8-8, Shelley's Konnor Gilstrap stepped to the plate looking to drive in the go-ahead run.
After working a 2-0 count, Gilstrap took a hack at a fastball that appeared to be right down the middle. But instead of depositing the ball into the outfield for a hit, Gilstrap popped out to the first baseman to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh the Russets' opponent the Boise Gems earned a walk-off win on a sacrifice fly by Payton Harris handing the Russets a 9-8 loss in the opening game of the Idaho Falls tournament hosted by Hillcrest High School.
"We have improved quite a bit from when we opened the season a week and a half ago," Shelley head coach Tom Bean said. "We still have a couple things to fix, if we can do that we will be on the right path."
Shelley fell behind 2-0 after one inning, but the offense woke up in the second, exploding for six runs. The entire inning was started by a leadoff walk to Zack Leal.
After a strikeout, Adam Smith singled sending Leal to third. Connor Montgomery followed with a single driving home Leal.
Two batters later Braxton Smith drew a bases loaded walk, Montgomery scored on a balk two pitches later.
Tyler Bean drew another bases loaded walk and Colt Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to center field, before Leal ended the scoring with an RBI single.
The Russets sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning giving starting pitcher Johnson a four-run cushion.
Bosie scored two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 6-4, but it was the sixth when the Gems finally looked to get the offense rolling.
The Gems had two doubles and a single to start the inning, a throwing error on the second double by Harris drive in the tying run.
Boise took the lead 8-6 after a two RBI single by Alex Reeves.
Undaunted, Shelley rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh.
Johnson led off the inning with a single, Leal walked. After two outs, Montgomery grounded into a fielder's choice scoring Johnson. Jason Burton tied the game with an RBI single two pitches later.
But it proved to not be enough as the Gems won the game in the bottom of the inning.
"This was a good start to a long weekend of baseball for us," Bean said. "If we can put a full seven innings together the rest of the weekend will be good for us."
Johnson led the Russets at the plate going 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Shelley (1-6) takes on the Centennial Canons today at Noon and then take on the Mountain Home Royals at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Hillcrest High School.
Boise 9, Shelley 8
Shelley 060 000 2 — 8 10 2
Boise 202 004 1 — 9 11 1
Shelley — Colt Johnson, Marcus Gustaveson (3), Konnor Gilstrap (6), Tyler Bean (7) and Gustaveson and Johnson. Boise — Cris Nolind, Payton Harris (2) and Cam Owen. 2B — Cole Ducharme (Boise), Payton Harris (Boise)2.