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Twin Falls downs Blackfoot in consolation bracket, Broncos’ season ends

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 

By PAUL LAMBERT
Prsports@postregister.com

With their two games decided by a total of three runs, the Blackfoot High School baseball team’s exit from the 4A state tournament wasn’t so much of a 2-and-out as a 14-inning showcase.

The Broncos dropped a 5-3 decision to the defending state champion Twin Falls Bruins on Friday morning at Melaleuca Field, though there were more bro-hugs and fist bumps postgame than tears.

“To get to this state tournament out of this conference, that’s a good season, no matter how you look at it,” Blackfoot coach Liam Pope said. “The boys wanted to go further, obviously, but I am proud of they way they played here these two days.”

Blackfoot dropped a 2-1 final to Skyview on Thursday, and closes its season at 17-15.

The Bruins broke the game open in the second inning, sending all nine hitters in the their lineup to the plate.

Before it was over, Twin Falls had put up four runs on four hits, highlighted by a two-run single from 9-hole hitter and freshman Tai Walker.

Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Blackfoot launched its most credible threat of the ballgame, loading the bases on a hit, a walk and an error.

With Caleb Wilson on third, Jace Jorgensen on second and Carlos Pimentel on first, Twin Falls brought in hard-throwing righty Anthony Scholes to put out the fire.

Blackfoot junior Carter Cooper had other ideas, however, lining a high fastball into left for a two-out, two-run single.

None of that surprised senior standout Payson Mills.

“When we started this season, we were small and young and inexperienced,” Mills said. “But we got in good practices and started putting runs on the board.”

Perhaps the best indicator that is was not the Broncos’ day Friday came in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Junior Jorgensen led off the inning with a triple, turning on an inside fastball that rifled between the first baseman and the bag and into no-man’s land.

At the major league level, that leadoff runner at third scores more than 80 percent of the time. But not Friday.

Blackfoot hitters were unable to push Jorgensen that final 90 feet, following his rocket to right with a weak grounder to first and two strikeouts.

Though the Broncos struggled to score runs at state, their defense was without blemish.

Blackfoot played 14 innings of errorless defense, but got little help from the opposing state tournament defenses who booted just one over those 14 frames.

“Most of that defense is the ability of staying clear of mind and wanting the ball hit to you,” senior catcher and defacto defensive captain Emerson Stucki said. “We were able to play it pretty clean out there.”

Twin Falls (19-7) will move on to play in today’s consolation championship.

TWIN FALLS 5, BLACKFOOT 3

Twin Falls 040 001 0 — 5 8 1

Blackfoot 001 002 0 — 3 8 0

TWIN FALLS — Pitchers: Carson Walters 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K. Anthony Scholes 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Leading hitters: Walters 2-3, R, RBI, 2 2B, Cade Greenfield 2-3, R, RBI, 2 2B, Tai Walker 1-2, R, 2 RBI.

BLACKFOOT — Pitchers: Cayden Cornell 3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB. Emerson Stucki 4 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K. Leading hitters: Jace Jorgensen 2-3, R, 3B, Carter Cooper 2-3, 3RBI, Cayden Cornell 1-3, R, BB.

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