TWIN FALLS — For the first time since 2009, the College of Southern Idaho baseball team is playing for a Region 18 championship.
Behind a strong performance from Mason Foltz, the top-seeded Golden Eagles (46-10) beat No. 3 College of Southern Nevada 4-0 on Friday at Skip Walker Field. On Saturday, CSI will get two chances to earn its first Region 18 title this century.
“Mason was dominating, and the times when they got a guy on, our defense was unbelievable,” CSI coach Boomer Walker said. “It was a very good college baseball game that we just pitched a tick better than them.”
The Golden Eagles took the lead in a two-run second inning, then added one in both the fourth and the seventh to create more distance. Foltz made sure the lead stayed safe.
The sophomore right-hander pitched all nine innings on 101 pitches, allowing four hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch with five strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 2.85 this season, in which he’s notched 70 strikeouts against 18 walks in 14 starts.
“It’s a pretty simple formula. If you throw the ball over the plate and you change speeds, you have a good chance at success,” Walker said. “He was very focused and determined to go out and put the team on his back.”
CSI’s lineup tallied six hits and four walks, and it received some help from CSN’s defense. The second run scored on an error, and the fourth was also unearned.
Walker praised the defense from shortstop Colin Gordon and second baseman David Hudleson, who both contributed at the plate, as well. Gordon was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, and Hudleson was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Right fielder Brett Resch went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
CSI’s pitching rotation falls off a bit after Foltz and Region 18 pitcher of the year Dylan Steen, who threw eight strong innings in Thursday’s 4-3 win over Colorado Northwestern CC. Colton Westfall is out for the year with an elbow injury, Walker said, and his 10 starts are third most on the team this season.
But fellow right-hander Trent Bixby has been solid in a hybrid role this season, posting a 3.50 ERA in 16 appearances (seven starts).
Second-seeded Salt Lake CC beat CSN 6-3 on Friday night to advance to the Region 18 title game. CSI will play at noon with a chance to capture its first Region 18 championship since 1999. If the Golden Eagles lose that game, they will play the Bruins in a winner-take-all game right after the first one.