BLACKFOOT — The Snake River Panthers’ baseball season came to an end on Thursday when they fell to the South Fremont Cougars by a final score of 9-1 in a state play-in contest.

The Panthers, who finished second in the South East Idaho Conference tournament to Marsh Valley, received a second chance at making the state 3A baseball tournament through a pair of play-in games, one against South Fremont and the other against Filer which was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. But it was South Fremont getting that chance instead.

The Panthers sent out young Nate Goodwin to the pitcher’s mound on Thursday and he was able to get through 4 2/3 innings, striking out a game-high three Cougars, but his team’s offense wasn’t up to the task on a cold, windy day.

The Cougars were able to shut down the Panthers’ offense, allowing only four hits on the day. Goodwin, Kaden Martin, Dalton Capell, and Gage Hirning were the four Panthers who were able to get hits, with Hirning the only Panther able to drive a run in, that coming too late in the game to really make a difference. The Panthers’ only run was scored in the top of the seventh inning.

The Cougars, on the other hand, did all of their damage in the early going, scoring a run in the bottom of the first, five more in the bottom of the second, and their final three runs came in the bottom of the third.

The Panthers were able to keep the Cougars off the board for the remainder of the contest, but were unable to score any runs of their own.

The Panthers finish the season at 9-14, but they were a very young team and gained a lot of experience this season and will be a more polished and competitive group in 2020.

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