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Legion baseball: Bandits split DH with Runnin Rebels

By LUKE O’ROARK | Loroark@postregister.com

Early season woes aren’t the end of the world, but they certainly can be frustrating.

After playing stiff competition in Arizona to open the season, some early season woes and rust hampered the Idaho Falls Bandits during their home opener against the Pocatello Runnin Rebels Thursday at Melaleuca Field.

The two teams split the doubleheader, Idaho Falls winning 6-5 in game one and Pocatello winning 8-6 in the night game.

During game two, Pocatello took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first before Idaho Falls tied the game up with a Randon Hostert RBI that scored Bruer Webster at the bottom of the frame.

Jace Hanson, a member of Hillcrest’s squad this previous spring, then hit a three RBI triple to give the Bandits an early 4-1 lead.

But, things quickly went south for the Bandits.

Up two runs with the bases loaded in the top of the third, starting pitcher Logan Ferguson walked back-to-back batters, allowing two earned runs. Caden Christensen then relieved and hit Jon Flores to give the Runnin Rebels another run and a one-run lead.

The Runnin Rebels never trailed again following Ben Ditton’s next at-bat: a two-RBI single that whipped past shortstop Alex Cortez and gave the visitors from District 5 a 7-4 lead. Pocatello finished he top of the third with three walks, two hit by pitch, and four singles.

The Bandits would rally in the bottom of the sixth — Webster got Alex Cortez home and Hostert hit an RBI single in between the right field gaps to score Webster — but Bridger Taylor was caught looking during the final out of the game.

He put his hands on his knees and flipped his bat — a frustrating night for a Bandits team that went 7 for 28 at the plate.

Game one was a bit different, though.

Sporting new sky blue and red jerseys, the Bandits’ offense strung together four runs in the bottom of the second before Andrew Gregersen hit a walk-off sac fly to give the Bandits their first home win, 6-5.

In an interesting strategy, Pocatello, with one out and one runner on third, walked back-to-back batters in the bottom of the seventh to eventually set up Gregersen, the team’s clean up hitter, with the walkoff RBI.

With Hostert on the mound in game one, the Bandits looked like the team that won 40-plus games a summer ago, as the 6-foot-6 pitcher allowed just two hits in 5.1 innings pitched. He also jump started the team’s offense with a solo home run shot over Melaleuca’s left field wall.

Hostert’s Bonneville teammates also got into the fun, as Jordan Perez hit an RBI double to score Tavyn Lords. I.F.’s Cannon Thompson then scored Christensen and Cortez’s sac fly scored Perez.

Eventually up 5-0, the Bandits’ early season woes began to show, however, when Hostert was pulled from the mound. After two outs from Austin Charboneau, Easton Taylor surrendered four earned runs on four hits to tie the game.

He eventually got out of the jam with two Rebels on first and second, as Gregersen’s walk-off sac fly gives the Bandits an even 2-2-2 record to start the year.

Idaho Falls plays the East Idaho Falls Rockies Saturday at Melaleuca Field. First pitch is at 5 p.m.


Pocatello 000 001 4 — 5 7 2

Idaho Falls 040 100 1 — 6 7 2

POCATELLO (5) — Pitchers: Seth Nate 4.2 IP, 70 P, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, HR; Greyson Hunt 2 IP, 30 P, H, R, ER, 3 K. Leading hitters: Payton Cleaves 2-4, 2 RBIs, R; Quinton Standley 1-2, RBI; Trey Hough 1-3, RBI; Ben Ditton 1-3, R; Jon Flores 2-3, 2 R, RBI.

IDAHO FALLS (6) — Pitchers: Randon Hostert 5.1 IP, 69 P, 2 H, R, ER, 7 K; Austin Charboneau 0.2 IP, H, K, 2 BB; Easton Taylor 1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, K, BB. Leading hitters: Randon Hostert 1-3, R, RBI, HR; Tavyn Lords 1-2, R, Koby Sorenson 1-1; Alex Cortez 1-2, 2 RBIs; Cannon Thompson 1-2, R, RBI.


Pocatello 106 001 0 — 8 9 3

Idaho Falls 400 002 0 — 6 7 1

POCATELLO (8) — Pitchers: Jay Graham 1 IP, 45 P, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB; Ben Ditton 5.1 IP, 98 P, 3 H, 2 R, 6 K, 6 BB; Dalton Jones 0.2 IP, 14 P, K, BB. Leading hitters: Trey Hough 2-4, R, 3 RBIs; Ben Ditton 1-3, 2 RBIs; Payton Cleaves 2-2, 3 R; Jon Flores 1-2, RBI.

IDAHO FALLS (6) — Pitchers: Logan Ferguson 2.1 IP, 51 P, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 K, 2 BB; Caden Christensen 4.2 IP, 88 P, 3 H, R, ER, 3 K, 4 BB. Leading hitters: Jace Hanson 2-3, 2 RBIs, 2B; Randon Hostert 2-4, R, 2 RBIs; Bruer Webster 1-2, 2 R.

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