The Dragon baseball team finished up their conference play undefeated as they held off Bear Lake in their last conference game of the season, giving them the honor to once again host the 2A District 5 tournament.
To finish out their regular season, the MHS baseball team had a double header as they played Bear Lake and Preston in Bear Lake. The opening game against the Bears would be the deciding game for seeding and hosting of the postseason tournament. Malad was quick to get their offense up and running in the first inning of the game as Timmy Jensen, second to bat, scored as Brady Showell hit a ground ball to first base.
Chase Briggs scored again in the second inning, getting on base with a line drive to shortstop after a 2-1 count. As Ryan Hubbard was up to bat, Briggs advanced to second on a defensive indifference and then continued on to steal third base. On an error by Bear Lake’s catcher, Briggs ran across home plate for a Dragon score.
The Dragons got the momentum really rolling in the third inning as they added four runs by Dax Maroney, Timmy Jensen, Jaden Ward and Gaiden Combs. Showell and Stetson Higley facilitated runs by Ward and Combs as they each hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield to allow their teammates scoring opportunities. Ryan Hubbard started the scoring in the fourth inning to be followed by runs from Ryan Jensen and Timmy Jensen. Hubbard and Ryan Jensen put up the final runs for the Dragons in the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Bear Lake responded with a single run to end the game, 11-1.
Timmy Jensen made the most from the plate as he had three runs on two hits on three at bats, batting in four teammates for the Dragon win. Ryan Jensen and Combs worked to lead the MHS defense in outs. Combs was quick to scoop up bunt hits and foul balls to get the Bear Lake batter out before making their way to home plate. With assists from around the field, Ryan Jensen made getting past first base a real challenge for their opponents.
Pitching for the Dragons was Brady Showell, throwing 95 pitches throughout the game. Over five innings, Showell allowed one run on two hits, striking out eight batters and walking five.
Following their game with the Bears, Malad had an exhibition game with Preston, a game that only really mattered to Malad’s coaches that hailed from Preston in their youth. Preston got the better of Malad as they had two big scoring innings. Malad consistently hit throughout the game to tally up six runs, but with Preston earning five runs in the second inning and six runs in the fourth inning, it just wasn’t enough.
Coach Bo Clark used the game to shuffle around a few players on defense, sending catcher Combs to right field, Timmy Jensen in as catcher, Hubbard to first base for some time as well as Ryan Jensen to second. Brycen Howe started at pitcher for his second game this season, throwing 101 pitches over the six inning game.
The Dragon baseball found themselves facing off with Bear Lake again Monday, May 8 as they played in the second game of the 2A District 5 post season tournament. Offensively the team had a slow start, but made up for the scoreless opening innings as they put seven runs across home plate in the third inning. With the count full and the bases loaded, Higley slammed a double on a line drive to left field to bat in Timmy Jensen, Josh Pickett, courtesy runner for Showell, and Cael Seamons, courtesy runner for Combs. Higley finished his way around the bases after Hubbard singled on a line drive to center field. Hubbard, Briggs, and Ryan Jensen added the final three scores for the inning over the next two plays.
In the fourth inning, the Dragons added another five runs to round out their score. Ward, first in the batting order for the inning, made it home after a double to left field by Showell. Showell came behind Ward in the next play as Combs hit a double to center field. Seamons, once again running bases for Combs, scored as Ryan Jensen hit another double to center field, with Higley scoring on the same play. Ryan Jensen scored the final run of the game as Maroney hit a single to center field.
Defensively, Malad had a solid game from covering their bases to the pitching from the mound to the outfield catches. Coach Clark praised his pitcher, Showell, for making quick work of the game, keeping the tempo up and the Bear batters on their toes. Showell threw 62 pitches in five innings, allowing a single run on two hits, striking out six batters, walking three and committing zero errors.
From the outfield, Briggs made a big defensive play in the top of the fourth as Bear Lake was headed home for a second run on the play. After scooping up a hard ground hit to left field, Briggs threw the ball into catcher Combs just in time to keep Bear Lake from scoring and to get the third out of the inning.
Higley and Ryan Jensen together led the team in hitting with two runs on two hits on three at bats, with three RBIs each. Maroney added an additional two stolen bases to his already impressive count. Maroney has tallied up 21 stolen bases on 22 attempts, leading not only the team but possibly the whole Idaho 2A league.
Tuesday, May 9 marks the second day of tournament play for the MHS baseball team. They will next play the winner of the third game between Soda Springs and Bear Lake. They are hopeful for a final win in the tournament which will send them on to the State tournaments at Orofino High School May 18-20.