FIRTH – It has been the kind of week for the Firth Cougars baseball team that makes some fans of baseball remember the four pitchers of the Baltimore Orioles who all won 20 games in 1971.
None of the members of Firth’s baseball team are old enough to even remember the likes of Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, or Dave McNally, but the way that Kai Park, Ben Park, Trevor Gemar, and Grayson Nelson have been throwing the ball, you have to begin to wonder what might be in the water around Firth.
It all started last week, when Kai Park threw a two-hit shutout against Gooding in the first half of a doubleheader, only to be outdone in the night cap, when Ben Park flirted with a perfect game before surrendering a two-out single in the final inning and a one-hit shutout.
Then on Thursday, the Cougars went to Snake River and Trevor Gemar did his thing, with another complete game shutout in which he only allowed one hit while striking out 13. That carried the Cougars to their third straight shutout.
On Friday, not to be outdone, Grayson Nelson — a tall, lanky left-hander — took the ball to the mound for the Cougars and he proceeded to send the Salmon Savages back to their dugout inning after inning during an 18-0 Firth win.
Nelson would throw yet another shutout and in the process, strike out nine Savages, while only allowing two hits.
It isn’t as if the the Cougars are all about pitching because this team can hit as well. Case in point is the 20 hits the team would pound out against Salmon in only four innings. Three different Cougars would tally three hits on the afternoon, with Colton Mecham, Ben Park and Hunter Trent each leading the way.
The team was definitely clicking on all cylinders, scoring runs by the bunches with one in the first, seven in the second, nine in the third and another single run in the fourth.
It isn’t as if the Cougars haven’t been pitching well all season long either. In the 11 games that the Cougars have played this season, they do have five shutouts, but in 10 of those 11 games, they have allowed three runs or fewer.
In the lone game where things got out of hand, they committed more than a handful of errors and lost a game that most would think they should have won. That game, a loss to Teton, is the only blemish the team has had on its schedule this season and it would appear to be the exception rather than the rule for this team. The Cougars will have a chance to remedy that situation as they will have a rematch with the Teton crew Monday when they travel to Driggs for the rematch.
The guess is that they will be successful in the rematch, and even if it isn’t a shutout, to extend the streak to five straight, the Cougars would be more than satisfied with another win as they get ready for a big conference game on Tuesday against Challis-Mackay, which appears to be their chief rival in the Nuclear Conference this season.
Game time on Monday in Driggs is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will set the Cougars up for the rest of the season as the team heads into the bulk of their conference schedule with a couple of non-conference games tossed in for good measure.