BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot Broncos baseball team opened the 2019 season in style as they welcomed the Thunder Ridge Titans to town and promptly sent them packing on the wrong end of an 18-3 score Tuesday afternoon.
“We did what we needed to do to get the season started,” Blackfoot coach Liam Pope said. “We have always had to battle the weather, field conditions and so forth, but we got the first game under our belts, we feel pretty good about it, and we can move on.”
The Broncos fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning, as the Titans used three walks to stimulate their offense, but the Broncos came right back with a six spot in the bottom the inning to take a lead that they would not relinquish.
Leading 6-3, the Broncos basically just handed the ball to their pitching staff and let them do the rest. The rest included pitching four shutout innings and the Broncos closed things out in style with those four zeroes up on the scoreboard for innings two through five in the shortened contest on the afternoon.
“We took advantage of some walks and some Thunder Ridge errors today,” Pope said. “We also got some good hits and that is what I am most pleased with. Hits with runners in scoring position is something we feel we have to take advantage of and we did that today.”
The Broncos scored in every inning, and it was what every baseball manager wants, “crooked numbers” that went up as there were no single-run innings for the Broncos.
The Broncos’ offense also took care of things with timely hits, patience at the plate as they drew walks, and took advantage of miscues in the field by the young Thunder Ridge team.
With the batters doing their part, the pitchers also came in and did their part. No pitcher had to throw too many pitches, so all of them are available for duty later in the week and everyone got some game day experience.
Last year’s closer, Kyson VanOrden, came in for the fifth inning and despite giving up a single to the lead-off batter, took care of the next three batters to close things out for the Broncos.
The Broncos are 1-0 on the young season and will be off until Friday, when they host the Idaho Falls Tigers in a home contest slated for first pitch at 3:30 p.m. They will follow that game up with a doubleheader in Idaho Falls on Saturday with games at 11 and 1.