Badgers capture 4th straight IML title

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Shayne Walker pitches against Priest River on May 8. The Badgers defeated Priest River 16-0 in their 3A District Tournament opener, advancing to face Timberlake in the district championship on Wednesday, May 9. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament.

The Bonners Ferry Badger baseball team had to travel to Spirit Lake twice after the hour and a half game rain delay start on Tuesday, May 1, game against Timberlake went to a suspended game due to darkness with a 7-7 score through 7 innings. But, the Badgers came away with a thrilling 8-7 victory to capture their fourth straight league title after senior captain Chris Sabin smashed a solo home run in the top of the 9th inning.

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Bonners Ferry 8, Timberlake 7 (9 innings)

The Badgers scored four runs in the top of the 7th inning to tie the game 7-7 after both pitchers had reached their maximum pitch count to send the game into extra innings.

Timberlake started the scoring off with a run in the first inning but Bonners Ferry answered with a run in the top of the 2nd inning after Sabin reached on a walk and later scored on an RBI out from Mason Eby. Timberlake stretched the lead to 5–1 through five innings but the Badgers added two runs in the top of the 6th when Sabin reached base after being hit by a pitch and Jared Fess singled. Eby came up big again hitting an RBI single to left scoring Sabin and Ty Bateman hit an RBI single to left scoring Fess.

But Timberlake added two more runs in the bottom of the 6th on a Badger error and walk followed by a single to left field. With the score 7-3, the Badgers staged a comeback scoring four runs in the final regulation inning. Brady Bateman led off the inning reaching on an error from the left fielder followed by back to back RBI singles from Seth Bateman and Shayne Walker. Sabin reached base on a walk, Fess struck out for the first out and Eby walked and Ty Bateman hit a 2 run single scoring Walker and Sabin. Eby came in relief for starting pitcher Will Parr in the bottom of the 7th inning and shut the Tigers down. The game was suspended until the following day due to darkness.

The game resumed the next day in the top of the 8th inning and both teams failed to score in the 8th. In the top of the 9th inning, Sabin hit a towering solo home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch to score the winning run. Eby shut down the Tiger offense in the bottom of the 9th inning to secure the victory.

Starting pitcher Will Parr pitched a great game striking out 11 and walking four in 5.2 innings while Eby came in relief for the win. Eby’s struck out three in 3 innings. The Badger bats produced 13 hits led by Brady Bateman going 3 for 4 while Seth Bateman, Jared Fess and Ty Bateman each got two hits in the game.

Bonners Ferry hosts the 2018 Intermountain League tournament Tuesday-Thursday, May 8-10 with the #1 seed Badgers playing at 4 p.m. against #4 seed Priest River.

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