THOMAS — The Snake River Panthers picked up their fourth win in four days on Saturday afternoon as they pounded out 18 hits for 13 runs in a 13-9 non-conference victory over the visiting Cougars of South Fremont.
"The thing that was probably the most impressive about today is our gutsiness," Snake River skipper Rich Dunn said. "We got up on them early with good pitching and good hitting and then credit South Fremont because they didn't go away. They have a big inning and cut the lead to three and our next at bat we said no, it isn't going to happen and answer those three which is always nice."
Early on it looked as if Snake River were going to cruise to their fourth straight ten run rule victory as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead after three innings of play.
The Panthers got two runs in the first inning as Adrian Castaneda led off with a single and then advanced to second on a throwing error by the Cougar catcher. Kade Harral scored Castaneda from second with a line drive single to centerfield and on the throw to the plate, Harral displayed heads up base running as he moved to second on the throw.
One batter later Harral came racing home when Bret Parkinson laced an RBI single to centerfield for the 2-0 lead.
The hits kept coming in the home half of the second inning as Cole Hrabik led off with a triple to deep centerfield. Wyatt Wray scored Hrabik with a sacrifice fly for the 3-0 lead. Trey Albertson then joined the hit parade with a double to center which was followed by a single by Castaneda. On the play Albertson was allowed to score when the left fielder was unable to pick up the ball cleanly eventually leading to Castaneda advancing to third base. Castaneda scored two pitches later when Harral collected his second of four hits on the afternoon and the Panthers were rolling 5-0. Cash Cardona and Cole Rushton capped off the four run inning with a pair of RBI singles and after two innings of play, Snake River led 7-0.
"Really, our pitchers are just working on hitting spots, moving the ball in and out, up and down and with our offense giving us all of these runs it is giving us a great opportunity to work on our pitching without having to worry about the score so much," coach Dunn said. "The power of the bat has definitely been the power of the wins this week."
Kade Keller was the beneficiary of the offensive onslaught as the lanky junior scattered 3 hits over his 4 innings of work. Keller held the Cougars to just 1 run while striking out 7 in the win.
Adrian Castaneda entered in relief of Keller in the fifth inning and Trey Albertson closed out the afternoon by working the final two innings in the victory.
South Fremont came alive at the plate in the fifth and sixth innings where they picked up 6 runs on the Panthers, closing the score to 10-7.
The Panther bats responded however as Albertson set the table with a one out single, advancing to second courtesy of an error by the South Fremont third baseman on a ground ball by Castaneda. Harral followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third and then Nate Martin chased both runners home with a 2RBI single to centerfield. Parkinson followed with a double off the fence in centerfield to score Martin to put the game out of reach.
"Again, it's a broken record but in that last inning we get runners on base with one out and then we are able to get a bunt down to put runners at second and third. Our three four batters then pick up three big runs for us," coach Dunn said. "Top to bottom, the last four games, everybody has contributed at the plate, in the field, just absolutely a total team effort this week."
Snake River (4-0) will be back in action Tuesday when they hit the road for the first time on the young season, traveling to Shelley for a 3:30 game with the cross county rival Russets.
SNAKE RIVER 13, SOUTH FREMONT 9
South Fremont 000 142 2 - 9 6 3
Snake River 251 203 x - 13 18 2
SOUTH FREMONT: Leading hitters - W. Wilder 3-4 2B 4RBI, Z. Trost 2-3 4R, L. Blanchard 1-2 3R. Pitching - M. Green 2IP 9H 7R 4ER 0BB 2K, R. Maupin (L) 4IP 9H 6R 2ER 1BB 7K.
SNAKE RIVER: Leading hitters - A. Castaneda 3-4 4R, K. Harral 4-4 3RBI 2R, N. Martin 2-4 3RBI 2R, B. Parkinson 3-5 2B 2RBI, C. Cardona 2-5 2B, T. Albertson 2-2 2B 3R. Pitching - K. Keller (W) 4IP 3H 1R 1ER 3BB 7K, A. Castaneda 1IP 0H 4R 1ER 6BB 1K, T. Albertson 2IP 3H 4R 2ER 1BB 0K.