Loggers end Trojans' hopes of a three-peat state championship

May 17—Potlatch pitcher Jameson Morris was one throw away from reaching his pitch limit and he was also one out away from a complete-game victory over the reigning two-time Idaho Class 1A state baseball champs, the Troy Trojans, in a semifinal game on Thursday at Capital High School in Boise.

Troy freshman Payton Christensen connected with the sophomore's final pitch and it skipped through the infield dirt to shortstop Jack Clark.

Clark delivered a timely throw to first baseman Brenton Breeze to beat the red-hot Trojans 4-2, punching the Loggers' ticket to the state championship game against Kendrick (17-7) at 2 p.m. Pacific today at the same site.

"I can't say enough about Jameson," Potlatch coach Trent Baysinger said. "He didn't throw many balls, and he kept guys off balance. I'm very proud of him."

Troy (16-6) will play Clearwater Valley of Kooskia (14-14) in a third-place game at 11 a.m. Pacific today back at Capital High School.

A gem of a performance

Morris had an effective night on the bump, with 63 of his 82 pitches going for strikes. The hurler was painting corners and finishing innings at a rapid pace, recording five innings where the Trojans went down in order.

The pitcher allowed no earned runs on three hits and struck out nine batters.

"His control is where it needed to be today," Baysinger said. "He threw a lot of strikes and didn't get behind in the count. He was around the plate with his fastball and off-speed pitches. ... He pitched a gem."

Floodgates opened early

The Loggers led the entire way on Thursday, scoring their first runs in the bottom of the first courtesy of a three-RBI double from Tyson Chambers.

Chambers came up to bat with the bases loaded after two fielding errors by the Trojans and a Jaxon Vowels walk.

The junior's hit sailed over the head of Troy left fielder Christensen, allowing the Loggers to clear the bases and take a 3-0 advantage.

"Their left fielder almost had a play on it," Baysinger said. "He was pursuing it, trying to make a catch, and we were able to clear the bases. I think (Chambers) was sitting on a fastball, and he was able to put it down the line."

Troy finds its footing

After going down in order in three consecutive innings, the Trojans finally found some momentum in the bottom of the fourth.

Senior Joseph Bendel recorded a one-RBI single that scored Dominic Holden to cut the Trojans deficit to 3-1. A Loggers fielding error allowed Bendel to advance to third base.

Morris kept a close eye on Bendel at third and tried to pick him off three times before attempting to throw a pitch to Troy's No. 3 hitter, Wade Moser.

On the fourth attempt, he didn't step off the rubber on the mound, resulting in a balk, scoring Bendel to cut the Trojans deficit to 3-2.

Morris and the Loggers responded with two quick outs following the balk to get out of the inning with a one-run advantage.

That's as close as Troy would get the rest of the way.

"I actually think the umpire made the right call," Baysinger said. "We just kind of let it fall apart a bit. But Jameson was able to battle and get us back in the dugout, and we were able to get those runs back the following inning."

A solid night for the Trojans' hurler

Other than a shaky first inning, Bendel had a quality outing for the Trojans on the mound.

The senior conducted a slew of quick innings, shutting down Potlatch in order twice, allowing no earned runs on two hits, and striking out six batters.

"He had our number the last time we faced him," Baysinger said. "Joseph is a good guy and a teammate; I was glad we were facing him. I told the boys going into it they had to be around the plate and put the ball in play. He did great other than the first inning when he got into trouble."

Potlatch 300 010 0—4 2 3

Troy 000 200 0—2 3 3

Jameson Morris and Jay Marshall; Joseph Bendel, Dominic Holden (7) and Makhi Durrett.

Potlatch hits — Chambers (2B), Logan Carpenter.

Troy hits — Durrett, Bendel, Eli Stoner.

Kendrick 11, Clearwater Valley 1

BOISE — The top-seeded Tigers only needed five innings to beat third-seeded Clearwater Valley of Kooskia in a 1A state tournament semifinal game.

Kendrick scored five runs between the first and second innings and added another six in the bottom of the fifth for the final margin.

Mason Kimberling notched a team-high three hits for Kendrick. Xavier Carpenter and Ty Koepp added two knocks apiece.

Koepp earned the win for the Tigers and struck out six.

Trebor Altman and Tiago Pickering both had a hit for the Rams.

Clearwater Valley 000 10—1 2 4

Kendrick 230 06—11 10 0

Landon Schlieper and Tiago Pickering; Ty Koepp and Wyatt Fitzmorris. W—Koepp; L—Schlieper.

Clearwater Valley hits — Trebor Altman, Tiago Pickering.

Kendrick hits — Mason Kimberling 3, Xavier Carpenter 2, Ty Koepp 2, Hunter Taylor, Wyatt Fitzmorris, Nate Kimberling.

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, or on Twitter @TreebTalks