Printed on: May 01, 2013

Conference title ... Check

Bonneville wins, secures fifth straight league title

By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA
mlycklama@postregister.com

The undefeated Bonneville High School baseball team has several goals this season.

The Bees checked one of them off the list Tuesday.

Bonneville edged Blackfoot 5-0 at Bonneville High School to secure the regular season conference title and the top seed going into the 4A District 5-6 tournament.

The Bees' ultimate goal is higher.

"It's just another step on our way to winning a state championship," Bonneville junior left fielder Tyson Craig said. "It's a great accomplishment and we need to keep the tradition going."

Craig jumpstarted the Bees' offense when he led off the third inning with a solo home run down the left-field line for his fourth homer of the season. Not to be outdone, senior right fielder Jake Holcomb followed two batters later with a two-run bomb to the same location, just a little farther, for his sixth home run of the year.

Both home runs flew out of the yard despite a steady wind blowing in from center field. In between the bombs, junior pitcher Kohl Hostert hit a double off the wall in left-center field that had the force to clear the fence if it had flown a little higher.

"In practice, it's kind of a one-ups to see who can hit the ball farther," Bonneville coach Joldy Watts said. "We've had a lot of home runs (17) as a team. It's almost like, 'Alright, well, you hit one. I'm going to hit one now.'"

The three-run third inning was more than enough for Hostert on the mound. Hostert tossed another complete-game shutout, his fourth in his past five outings, to lower his ERA to 0.48 on the season. The University of Oregon commit struck out 10 while walking one and surrendering five hits despite battling a sore back that forced him to see a chiropractor Tuesday morning.

"On several occasions, I tried to pull him out of the game," Watts said. "Obviously, he wasn't having it. He wants the baseball. And he's one of those guys I'm not going to take it from him.

"It was not his best stuff today. But he was able to throw a shutout and get us to our next step in the season."

Hostert's defense bailed him out of the only jam he faced in the sixth inning. With runners on first and third with one out, Blackfoot's Dillon Mansanarez lifted a fly ball to right field. It was deep enough to score Cole Mansanarez from third base easily.

But Blackfoot's Colby Pearson broke for second on the pitch. Holcomb then snagged the ball in right field and fired to first base for the inning-ending double play.

While the win secures Bonneville (20-0 overall, 9-0 conference) the top seed in next week's district tournament, Blackfoot (13-7, 7-2) owns the second seed. The two teams meet again today in Blackfoot and, Broncos coach Kenny Dahle hopes, once more in the district tournament.

"We get to play them three times this season, hopefully," Dahle said. "Hopefully, we get them once."