Printed on: May 16, 2013

Eastern Idaho teams at the state baseball tournament

By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA
mlycklama@postregister.com

Eastern Idaho's aspirations for its first state high school baseball title since 2004 don't rest solely on Bonneville's shoulders. Five other area teams qualified for this weekend's state tournaments. And in baseball, anything can happen. Check out the story below on each of the five teams and their first opponents in their bids for a blue trophy.

Class 5A

Madison (10-12): The Bobcats started the season 0-7 and mustered only nine runs in the process. But they turned their season around in April and enter the state tournament for the first time since 2010 as the second-place finisher in District 5-6.

Led by second baseman Drew Arnold (.377 batting average) and shortstop Dallas Crane (.301), Madison takes on Borah (17-8) at 4:30 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium in Boise.

Class 4A

Blackfoot (15-9): The Broncos ended a 12-year state tournament drought, thanks to senior Colby Pearson's grand slam in the top of the seventh in the 4A District 5-6 second-place game.

Between Pearson, center fielder Zach Later, pitcher/shortstop Russel Osborn and catcher Cole Mansanarez, Blackfoot possesses a quartet that can pull off an upset against District 3 champ Skyview (16-7) at 1 p.m. today at Bishop Kelly High School.

Class 3A

South Fremont (13-10): The four-team Mountain Rivers Conference ended in a four-way tie during the regular season. But the Cougars showed their postseason pedigree and claimed the district title to earn their 10th trip to the state tournament in 11 years.

South Fremont takes on Priest River (15-7) at 4:30 p.m. today at Treasure Valley Community College.

Snake River (18-2): The Panthers won their third straight district title behind a potent offense and possess three solid pitchers in Zane Stephenson, Cash Cardona and Kade Keller.

The third-place finishers from last year open with Payette at 1 p.m. today.

Class 2A

Firth (13-11): The Cougars return to the state tournament for the third straight year, finishing second in their district to Malad, the two-time defending state champ. But Firth split the regular-season series with the Dragons, proving it can make some noise this weekend.

Firth opens its state title bid against Nampa Christian at 1 p.m. today at Rodeo Park in Nampa.