The Teton baseball team led the entire game against Shelley on Tuesday in a loser-out 3A District 6 tournament game. That was until the last pitch of the seventh inning. Teton was leading 7-5 before Shelley's Chase Richens hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for the Russets and end Teton's season.
Shelley was the No. 1 seed going into the tournament while Teton was fourth. On Saturday the Redskins beat Shelley 6-4, and coach Dave Ross said they figured they could do it again.
"We battled really well," said Ross. "It's just one of those things where we made a couple mistakes and they made us pay."
In Tuesday's game going into the seventh inning, Teton walked the first batter, and then had an error in right-center field. After a pop out to first base, Richens was the hero of the game, sending Shelley on to see another day.
Tim Heffron and Tavner Wilson started the game with base hits and then scored on Andrew Foster's double. Foster then scored on Race Moore's single and things were looking good for the Redskins. In the second inning Christian Barron had a walk and Josh Berry hit a double to left field. Teton was ahead 4-2. In the fourth inning Teton went ahead 5-4 and got two more runs in the fifth inning. Berry was on the mound for six innings and struck out six, while only allowing five hits.
On Monday Teton lost to South Fremont, which could have sent them to the state tournament. South took the game, 8-1 behind pitcher Justin Mackert. He struck out 15 Redskins and walked none. South Fremont advanced to the state tournament.
Even though Teton's season is over, Ross said it was a good tournament for his team. Beating Shelley on Saturday was a highlight of the season, and perhaps a highlight of the last couple years.
"Shelley's had our number for the past few seasons," said Ross. Next year the Russets are moving up to the 4A class so it was the last chance Teton had to beat them. "I think our guys are really happy about that."
In that Saturday game, Shelley took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Teton came back to score four runs in the fifth. Nathan Abey had a double while Heffron got a hit. Barron and Wilson both walked, and then Berry and Andrew Foster had big base hits to score those four runs. Shelley scored in the bottom of the fifth and Teton was ahead 4-3 going into the last inning. Wilson doubled and Berry singled when Alex Foster knocked in Wilson. Abey hit a double to score Berry to seal the win. Barron pitched five strong innings and struck out seven. After throwing 107 pitches he ran out of gas and Berry closed the game striking out Shelley's big hitter, Cody Anderson, with two men on base.
"That was a tournament upset," said Ross. "So we felt good about that."
Ross said he was pleased with how his guys played all season and especially in the tournament.
"We improved a lot from the start of the season and gained some confidence," he said. Teton also improved a lot from last year where they only won two games. Teton was 7-14 this season and Ross said on the surface it doesn't look so hot, but stronger teams in the area "really couldn't show up and win like they could in the past. They knew they had to earn it."
The Redskins will lose six seniors in Heffron, Berry, Alex Foster, Logan Nelson, Moore and Barron.
"Those guys made a positive contribution and helped us get better," said Ross. "They're also good young men and good guys to work with."
Though the six seniors will be missed, Ross said he's excited about the future of his team. The Junior Varsity team finished strong with a 15-3 record.
Teton hosted the 3A tournament in Driggs on their new field and Ross said they ran a first-class tournament. He wanted to thank his assistant coach Tom Balben for all his hard work and also the parents who helped make the tournament run smoothly.
On Saturday the Redskins squad will have one last chance to take the field when they play a team made up of Teton baseball alumni. Any former players are welcome to show up for the 11 a.m. game. The alumni game was started last year and Ross said they wanted to try and keep it a tradition.
"It's fun to see old players come back and have them keep an interest in the program," he said. A home run contest will start at 9:30 a.m. Any alumni interested in playing are being asked to donate $15 for the game, with proceeds going towards the program to help with cost of facilities.
To contact Rachael Horne e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.