POCATELLO — The good news for Pocatello Razorbacks starting pitcher Colton Sneddon? He notched a complete game on an efficient 88 pitches, gave up just three hits and struck out six, and held Marsh Valley scoreless in five of seven innings.
The bad news? An utterly disastrous fourth inning in which Marsh Valley scored four runs, undoing the Razorbacks’ three-run lead. The visitors added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and the Razorbacks fell to Marsh Valley 5-3 at Halliwell Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Razorbacks struck in the first inning, with Sneddon slapping a single to center to drive in Scott Baker. Kobe Holt tripled the Razorbacks’ lead the very next at bat by driving in Luke Davis and Tyler Schell to put the Razorbacks up 3-0.
Sneddon shut down the batters of Marsh Valley, which has already clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming state tournament, in the first three innings.
In the fourth, the wheels fell off.
Sneddon walked the first two batters he faced in the inning. After inducing a fly out to left, Sneddon plunked a Marsh Valley batter, loading the bases without yielding a single hit in the inning up to that point.
Sneddon found the strike zone on the first pitch of the next at bat, but the Marsh Valley bat also found the ball for a bases-clearing double to deep center, erasing the entirety of the Razorbacks’ lead with a single swing. The next swing put Marsh Valley up for good, as another runner was knocked home via a single to center field.
“It was just one bad inning,” Razorbacks skipper Duane Rawlings said. “Pitching-wise, we have to be more efficient and not bean people or walk them.”
The win for Marsh Valley doesn’t change anything from a state tournament seeding standpoint. The Razorbacks could have forced a coin flip with Malad for the second seed if they had won the first game.
For Rawlings, the win would have been great for momentum, but even the seeding change wouldn’t have significantly affected the tournament. More important to Rawlings is erasing the single-inning yips, which he pointed out has plagued his squad all season.
“Six. Six of our seven losses are like that,” Rawlings said.
Still, Rawlings acknowledged that his squad is a talented, hard-hitting one that can make noise in the tournament if they can clean things up.
“When we don’t give things away, we’re a very dangerous team.”
The Razorbacks triumphed 12-1 in the second game, which didn’t count for district play. Marsh Valley sat many of their key players in the nightcap to rest them for their final two contests tomorrow before the beginning of the state tournament.
MARSH VALLEY 5, POCATELLO RAZORBACKS 3
Marsh Valley 000 400 1 — 5 3 3
Pocatello 300 000 0 — 3 5 2
Marsh Valley — WP: Woodmancy. 2B: Foster.
Pocatello — LP: Sneddon.