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Skyview beats Blackfoot in pitchers’ duel, 2-1

Blackfoot Broncos’ Ethan Case easily makes it back to first base as Skyview’s Jacob O’Dell fields the throw during Thursday’s 4A State Baseball Championships at Melaleuca Field. Photo by Monte LaOrange | Post Register

By LUKE O’ROARK | @LukeORoark
Loroark@postregister.com

On the right side of home plate, Blackfoot first baseman Joe Maddox slowly took off his helmet in frustration.

During Thursday’s low-scoring 4A state tournament first-round game between Blackfoot and Skyview at Melaleuca Field, Maddox popped up on a check swing with two outs in the top of the fifth. The bases were loaded. The count: 3-1.

Maddox fell to the ground from Bryson Vaughn’s pitch, as it was Blackfoot’s last offensive chance in a game the Broncos lost 2-1 to Skyview.

Blackfoot falls into the consolation bracket and will play Twin Falls at 10 a.m. Friday at Melaleuca Field.

“2-1? That’s just classic baseball right there,” Blackfoot coach Liam Pope said. “Holy cow. It’s refreshing baseball. The big leaguers may be all about launch angles, blah, blah, blah. But you had two teams out there that cared about pitching and defense.”

Pope has reiterated the Broncos’ pride in defense and pitching. But defense — alone — can’t win championships.

Members of the Blackfoot Broncos celebrate after Jace Jorgensen scores the first run of the game during Thursday’s 4A State Baseball Championships at Melaleuca Field. Photo by Monte LaOrange | Post Register

A game which combined 10 hits, Pope rated his team’s pitching and defense an “A.” His offense: a “C.”

The Broncos finished with four hits. Emerson Stucki finished 2 for 3 at the plate.

“Great pitching performances by both pitchers,” Pope said. “In games like that, where it’s tight, on the few chances you get, you gotta take. And we didn’t get many. We had three, and we took one out of three.”

Blackfoot’s only run came in the top of the second when Cayden Cornell hit a RBI double to left-center field to score Jace Jorgenson.

Skyview answered the next frame after Wade Carpenter and Jacob O’Dell drove in runs against Payson Mills.

It was the last time anyone crossed home plate, as Vaughn struck out Mills and Chase Turner in the top of the seventh to close the door.

Vaughn went the distance, striking out 10 batters. He allowed four hits, four walks and an earned run.

Mills — despite finishing with eight 3-ball counts and a loss — pitched five innings. He struck out two and allowed six hits, three walks and two earned runs.

“That’s big. A bulldog attitude right there,” Pope said of Mills’ performance. “If we lose, it wouldn’t be on his shoulders. Their batters were disciplined and kept Payson having to pitch and pitch. And he never rolled over. He never looked like he hit the wall.”

SKYVIEW 2, BLACKFOOT 1

Blackfoot 010 000 0 — 1 4 0

Skyview 002 000 0 — 2 6 0

BLACKFOOT — Pitchers: Payson Mills 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. Kyson Van Orden 1 IP. Leading hitters: Cayden Cornell 1-3, RBI, 2B; Emerson Stucki 2-3; Joe Maddox 1-3.

SKYVIEW — Pitchers: Bryson Vaughn 7 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 10 K, 4 BB. Leading hitters: Julian Mascura 2-3, 2B; Wade Carpenter 1-2, RBI; Evan Harmon, R.

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