The summer has come to an end for the Shelley Russets.
In their return to American Legion baseball after a 10-year absence the Russets had their hopes of making it into next week’s American Legion ‘A’ state tournament dashed as the Idaho Falls Rangers defeated them 13-2 in five inning at Halliwell Park.
The Russets' downfall on Friday with their inability to get the third out of several innings.
Idaho Falls loaded the bases in the first inning with one out. Shelley starter Connor Montgomery was able to get the second out with a strikeout, but after that the Russets appeared to put up a wall that prevented them from getting the third out.
The inning came unraveled after shortstop Tyler Bean's error. A single by Lincoln Madsen gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
Shelley answered in the bottom of the first, getting an RBI single from Connor Montgomery, but the inning came to an end a few pitches later when Montgomery was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on Konnor Gilstrap's single.
The Rangers added two more runs with two outs in the third inning as two hits and three walks brought runs in.
Idaho Falls took advantage of more Shelley miscues in the final two innings.
The Rangers sent 24 batters to the plate in the last two innings, scoring eight runs, five of which came in the fourth inning.
In the fourth inning the Rangers had four singles, drew a pair of walks and had two batters hit by pitches, both of which drove in runs.
Shelley was only able to scratch across one more run in the game. That was in the bottom of the fourth on Marcus Gustaveson's sacrifice fly.
The miracle Russets were unable to put together one more comeback as Rangers pitcher Tim McCarty shut down the Shelley offense.
McCarty held the Russets to just five hits in the game.
The Russets finished their first summer back in Legion baseball with an 18-22 record.
While disappointed that the season has come to an end the Russets made great strides over the two-month long season.
After the postgame speech from coach Tom Bean the Shelley players exchanged hugs and handshakes as each realized what they had accomplished this summer.
For many the focus turns towards football, and for a few, including first baseman Gilstrap, their high school baseball careers are over. But one thing is for sure; each played a big part in bringing the Russets back into American Legion baseball.
Idaho Falls Rangers 13, Shelley 2, 5 inn
Idaho Falls 302 53 – 13 10 2
Shelley 100 10 – 2 5 3
Idaho Falls – Tim McCarty and Chaffin. Shelley – Connor Montgomery, Josh Peterson (4) and Colt Johnson. 2B – Chaffin (IF).