The Bonners Ferry Badgers Baseball Team finally reached the top of the mountain by claiming the 3A State Baseball Championship this past weekend in Ontario, Ore. This is the first baseball championship for Bonners Ferry in its 25-year history and the first 3A title from the North since 1997 when Lakeland was in our league.
GAME 1: Bonners Ferry 5, Payette 1
In what many thought would be the championship game for the 3A title prior to seeding, the Badgers beat the Pirates in the first game of the tournament 5–1.
Senior Will Parr pitched a complete game, taking a no hitter into the bottom of the 7th inning where a pair of infield singles broke up his no-hit bid. Parr pitched fabulous giving up only two hits while striking out eight batters with no walks through seven complete innings.
The Badgers started the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning when senior Mason Eby singled to right field and then advanced to second on the throw. Sophomore Ty Bateman laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to advance Eby to third and pitcher Will Parr helped himself by singling in Eby on a hit to right field.
The Badgers added another run in the top of the 4th inning when Ty Bateman hit a double to right followed by another great sacrifice but by Seamus Skeen advancing T. Bateman to third with one out. Parr, again, hit a hard ground ball to third base and reached on an error while scoring Bateman on the play.
In the top of the 6th inning, Parr hit a two-out double to center field and senior Brady Bateman followed with an RBI single scoring Parr. Junior Seth Bateman then singled to center field putting the Bateman brothers at first and second. After an hour and half rain/lightening delay, senior Shayne Walker resumed action with a huge two strike smash doubling to center field scoring both Batemans and putting the Badgers up 5–0.
In Payette’s last at bat in the bottom of the 7th inning, they kept their hopes alive getting their first two hits, a pair of infield singles. With no outs and runners on first and second, the next batter grounded into a double play and Parr retired the next batter on a ground out to end the game.
Will Parr was the Idahosports.com Player of the Game with his phenomenal performance on the mound while going 2-for-3 with two RBIs at the plate.
Hits: Brady Bateman, Seth Bateman-3, Shayne Walker, Chris Sabin, Jared Fess-2, Mason Eby, Ty Bateman, Will Parr-2
2B: Seth Bateman, Ty Bateman, Shayne Walker, Will Parr
RBI: Brady Bateman, Shayne Walker-2, Will Parr-2
SAC: Seamus Skeen, Ty Bateman, Mason Eby
GAME 2: Bonners Ferry 19, Kimberly 12
The Badgers scored 9 runs on 8 hits in the first inning, but the Kimberly Bulldogs scratched their way back into the game that ended up in a crazy 19-12 victory for the Badgers.
In a first for Coach Tom Turpin, the Badgers started off the game with the first four batters hitting for the cycle. Brady Bateman started the game off with a single followed by a Seth Bateman double followed by a Shayne Walker triple, then capped off with a towering two run home run to left center by Chris Sabin giving the Badgers a quick 4-0 lead. The hits kept coming as the first seven batters got hits and the first 11 Badgers to the plate reached base without recording an out. When the top of the first inning finally ended, the Badgers led 9-0 on eight hits, two walks, and one hit by pitch.
Kimberly was not going to go away quietly as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Badgers added two runs in the top of the 4th inning after Jared Fess reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch. Mason Eby then hit a single and later scored on another wild pitch. Kimberly then put up three more runs in their half of the inning to put the score 11-6. In the bottom of the 5th inning Kimberly added five more runs to tie the game 11-11. Both teams went quietly in the 6th inning. With a berth to the state championship game on the line and pressure mounting, the Badgers nearly repeated the first inning, exploding for eight more runs on nine hits to put the game away in the final inning.
Chris Sabin came in relief for the Badgers to get the victory and was named the Idahosports.com Player of the Game.
Hits: Brady Bateman-2, Seth Bateman-4, Shayne Walker-2, Chris Sabin-2, Jared Fess-2, Mason Eby-3, Ty Bateman-2, Seamus Skeen, Will Parr
2B: Seth Bateman, Chris Sabin
3B: Shayne Walker
HR: Chris Sabin
RBI: Brady Bateman-3, Seth Bateman, Chris Sabin-3, Ty Bateman, Shayne Walker-3, Jared Fess, Will Parr, Mason Eby
GAME 3 – STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Bonners Ferry 4 Homedale 2
The Badgers started off where they left off in game two by scoring two runs in the top half of the first inning. Brady Bateman hit a single to start the game, Seth Bateman reached on an error by the second baseman, Shayne Walker walked to load the bases, Chris Sabin then hit a sacrifice fly to left center to score B. Bateman, Jared Fess hit a single advancing S. Bateman, and then Mason Eby scored Seth on a fielder’s choice to put the Badgers up early 2-0.
Shayne Walker started on the mound for the Badgers scattering four hits in six innings while striking out eight and walking two in what was Shayne’s best pitching performance as a Badger.
A scary moment occurred at the end of the 4th inning as the Badgers were preparing to bat in the 5th. As the Homedale infield was warming up an errant throw came into the dugout and hit Walker in the face right below his right eye dropping him to the ground. While he was laying still on the ground being attended to by medical personnel, the question remained whether he would be cleared to come back in the game. After about a 10 minute delay, Walker was cleared and pitched another two innings for the Badgers.
The Badgers added a run in the top of the 5th inning after Sabin singled to left and advanced to second on a critical sacrifice bunt by Jared Fess. With one out, Ty Bateman came up big again in the tournament by lining a double down the left field line scoring Sabin.
The Badgers added an insurance run in the top of the 7th inning when Sabin was hit by a pitch and Fess, again, came up with a huge sacrifice bunt to advance Sabin to second. Mason Eby hit a hard ground ball and reached on an error that allowed Sabin to advance to third base. Ty Bateman hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Sabin again and put the Badgers up 4 – 0 going into the bottom of the 7th.
With the three outs remaining for the Trojans, the first batter of the inning reached on a single, Walker reaching his maximum pitch count for the day then gave way to Chris Sabin to finish the game. Sabin notched the crucial first out by striking out the first batter he faced, but walked the second and third batters loading the bases with one out.
The Trojans then scored their first fun of the game when Sabin was called for a balk, allowing the baserunners to advance. With the score 4 - 1 and runners on second and third, the Trojans scored another run on an infield single when Stoddard beat out the throw to first base to cut the Badgers lead to 4-2, but they picked up their second out of the inning in exciting fashion when Homedale’s Packer was thrown out at the plate by Shayne Walker as he was attempting to score from second on the same play.
Needing only one more out to create Badger history, Chris Sabin took care of business himself as he got the next batter to hit a lazy pop up that he caught at the pitcher’s mound for the final out and the celebration began! The Badgers are forever STATE CHAMPIONS!
Shayne Walker was selected as the Idahosports.com Player of the Game.
Hits: Brady Bateman-3, Chris Sabin, Jared Fess, Ty Bateman
2B: Ty Bateman
RBI: Chris Sabin-2, Ty Bateman-2, Mason Eby
SAC: Jared Fess-2
The Badgers batted .390 in the three games at State while collecting 37 hits, nine of which were extra base hits, and scored 30 runs. The biggest factor was six sacrifice plays at the plate during the tournament which showed the selflessness of the Badger players.
Seth Bateman led the team in batting average going 7 for 11 (.636), Brady Bateman went 6 for 10 (.600), Jared Fess 5 for 11 (.454) while Chris Sabin, Mason Eby and Ty Bateman hit .364 for the team.
Bonners Ferry will graduate 11 seniors and return only 2 starting players for next year. With the loss of the seniors, it will be a new team but the same dream!