Idaho Falls senior pitcher Andrew Gregersen warmed up prior to Thursday’s game with Hillcrest, focused on shutting down the Knights’ lineup and keeping the Tigers’ win streak alive. But then Mother Nature intervened and the rain came, putting the matchup in jeopardy.
“I was kind of bummed,” Gregersen said.
But that wouldn’t last. After a two-hour delay, Melaleuca Field was dried out, and after a back-and-forth start where both teams traded runs early, the Tigers held on for a 5-3 win.
Gregersen, who had to warm up a second time once it was decided the game would be played, tossed a complete game, giving up the three runs in seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. He also knocked in two runs. His RBI double in the third tied the game at 3-3 and set up a big inning for the Tigers in which they scored three times – Caden White’s fielder’s choice groundout produced a run and Paul Wilson’s single to left brought home Braxton Ball — and I.F. went up 5-3.
Both pitchers settled down over the final three innings. Hillcrest starter Jace Hanson also threw a complete game and gave up just six hits. But that third inning proved hard to overcome for Hillcrest batters as Gregersen found his rhythm.
“He looked good and he was the leader for us today,” Idaho Falls coach Trent Johnson said. “It starts with him, it starts with the guy on the mound, and he showed great leadership and great poise.”
Hillcrest did have its chances. The Knights had a runner picked off to end the fourth, and had a runner thrown out at second to end the fifth. They also stranded a runner in the sixth and two runners in the seventh.
“When we got that lead I settled down and found my stuff a little more,” Gregersen said. “From then on it was just pound the zone, pound the zone.”
The Tigers have won five straight games to improve to 6-2 overall, 2-0 in 4A District 6. Hanson went 2 for 4 and had an RBI for Hillcrest, which is 7-5 overall, 1-3 in 4A District 6 play.
The teams play a doubleheader today at Hillcrest.