FIRTH â€” The Firth Cougars welcomed next door neighbor Shelley to town on Tuesday afternoon for a game of hardball that eventually was won by the Russets 7-4 in a game that was called after five innings of play due to the muddy conditions.
"It went down hill fast and it got pretty sloppy out here and when the ball gets wet like this, it's hard for any pitcher to get a good grip and that's what happens when it just keeps raining," Shelley head coach Trent Armstrong said. "I give the kids credit though. They were able to stick it out and just keep trying."
It was the season opener for the Cougars and the men in blue came out swinging as they plated the games first run in the home half of the first inning.
Shelley took the lead with a two run top of the third inning and then extended that lead to 7-1 with a five run uprising in the top of the fifth inning.
"We had the big five run fifth where the boys found the bats and kind of settled down," coach Armstrong said. "We had some good pitching in the middle and were able to throw some new kids even though it wasn't the best of days to throw but the boys did a good job and I'm proud of them today."
"Josh Peterson hit everything. Inside, outside it didn't matter that ball was the size of a beach ball today," coach Armstrong said.
Indeed Peterson had a solid game for the Russets, finishing the day 4 for 4 to lead the Russets at the dish. Peterson was also effective on the bump for the Russets as he entered the game with the tying run at the plate with no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Peterson slammed the door on the comeback attempt by striking out one and then enduring a pair of ground ball outs from the Cougar hitters.
"I thought defensively that we made the plays that needed to be made and we haven't been on the field very much this year so that was the spot that we should have struggled at but instead it was the strength today," Firth head coach Scott Adams said. "Offensively I thought that we did a poor job. We made some mental mistakes. Base running and not laying the squeeze bunt down and that is just the kids being mentally prepared and getting the job done."
"I have a lot of confidence in these kids though," coach Adams said. "We are pretty young and for the first game out, in crappy conditions it wasn't too bad. I feel like we are a better team than what we showed tonight."
Firth (0-1) will be back in action Thursday on day one of the Skyline tournament when they play at 4 p.m. at Bonneville High School.
Shelley (2-1) will have a few days off as they will not be back in action until next Wednesday, April 3 when they travel to Rigby for a tilt with a Trojans team that they beat last Thursday at home.
SHELLEY 7, FIRTH 4
Shelley 002 05 - 7 10 0
Firth 100 03 - 4 3 0
Shelley hitters: Josh Peterson 4-4, Josh Guiterrez 1-3, Konner Gilstrap 1-4 2B RBI, Kaden Schmitt 1-1 2B 2RBI, Tyler Bean 1-3 RBI, Kalen Young 1-1 RBI. Pitching: Dan Forbush 1IP 1H 1R 1ER 1BB 0K, Caleb Pack 3IP 0H 0R 0ER 4BB 1K, Colt Johnson IP 2H 3R 3ER 2BB 0K, Josh Peterson 1IP 0H 0R 0ER 1BB 1K.
Firth hitters: Conner Montgomery 0-1 2R, Mason Cook 1-3 RBI, Jake Orme 1-2 RBI, Dalton Cate 1-2 RBI. Pitchers: Conner Montgomery 4 2/3IP 8H 6R 6ER 5BB 8K, Taylor Richards 1/3IP 2H 1R 1ER 1BB 0K.