The Pocatello Runnin Rebels’ season ended Monday with a 4-1 loss to Lewis-Clark in the Double-A Legion state tournament at Lewis-Clark State College.
Lewis-Clark scored all four of its runs in the sixth inning. The Twins (25-20) plated their first run on an error and added two runs on Dawson Bonfield’s two-RBI double two batters later. Lewis-Clark added its final run on a passed ball.
The Runnin Rebels (33-19) had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh, but ended the game with a flyout and a strikeout. Pocatello stranded nine runners on base.
“We had our chances,” Pocatello coach Nick Sorrell said. “We just didn’t have those timely hits. That’s what we were kind of missing the entire weekend.”
Payton Cleaves went the distance on the mound for the Runnin Rebels, striking out seven and walking two while allowing four hits. Cleaves entered the sixth with a one-hitter and retired 11 consecutive batters between the second and fifth frames.
“He was just keeping hitters off balance and he was pounding the strike zone,” Sorrell said of Cleaves. “He was letting his defense help him out. ... We had a few mental mistakes late, but he gave us a chance.”
Pocatello scored its lone run in the second, when Kyler Knowles singled home Trei Hough, who led the inning off with a double. Dylan Jester’s 2-for-3 effort was Pocatello’s lone multi-hit game.
The Runnin Rebels finished the state tournament in third place, after the Idaho Falls Bandits beat the Rocky Mountain Avalanche on Monday. Pocatello won its first two games of the tourney, including Saturday night’s 3-2 victory over the Boise Capitals that ended with Hough’s walk-off single.
The team’s losses Sunday and Monday both came after holding sixth-inning leads. Pocatello fell 6-1 on Sunday to the Idaho Falls Bandits – who scored three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to erase Pocatello’s 1-0 lead.
“I’m still super proud of how far this team came, what they accomplished this season,” Sorrell said. “We had the tournament in our grasp there and let it slip away a little bit. ... It was a pretty good season altogether.”
The Runnin Rebels send off three recently graduated high school seniors — all of whom are eligible to play for the squad again next season. They, plus the rest of the team’s rising talent, should make the Runnin Rebels a force in the future, Sorrell said.
“Those guys coming back, they can compete with anybody in the state and they can beat anybody in the state,” Sorrell said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team. They exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.”
LEWIS-CLARK 4, POCATELLO RUNNIN REBELS 1
Pocatello 010 000 0 — 1 6 0
Lewis-Clark 000 004 x — 4 4 0
Pocatello — LP: Cleaves. 2B: Hough.
Lewis-Clark — WP: Stout. 2B: Bonfield.