TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls Cowboys had plenty of opportunities in Friday night’s game, but they didn’t take advantage of enough of them to come out with the win. They lost 6-3 to the Reno Athletics (Nevada) on the second day of play of the Cowboy Classic Tournament at Skip Walker Field.
Twin Falls stranded at least two runners in five different innings and didn’t get on the board until the sixth, and by then Reno had built too big of a lead to overcome.
Starting pitcher Domenic Williams kept the Cowboys at bay through the five innings he pitched.
“First we’ve got to tip our cap to their guy. Their starting pitcher did really well,” Twin Falls coach Tim Stadelmeir said. “He was throwing strikes the whole time and he came right at us. We were just trying to over-swing a little bit and trying to do too much. We weren’t playing within ourselves.”
Seth McGrath (3-for 4 with two doubles) started a solid night at the plate in the first inning with an RBI double to score Reno’s first run. The Athletics got three more in the third and scored another run on an error in the sixth to build a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Twin Falls loaded the bases with no outs, but seemed close to wasting another opportunity. Haylen Walker came through with an infield single to score a run, then Magnum Hofstetter drew a bases-loaded walk to score another before Tai Walker grounded out to end the inning.
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Twin Falls threatened to do more damage in the seventh when Kaden Stutzman and Jace Mahlke got on base. Kolby Slagel hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-3, but Mahlke got tagged out at third base to end the game.
“We can’t wait until the sixth or seventh inning,” Stadelmeir said. “Those guys played extremely well. We know that, and it’s a good learning experience for our kids. We’re going to have a target on our back.”
Twin Falls won its first two games on the opening day of play Thursday, including a 3-1 win over Taylorsville (Utah) and a 4-0 win over Durango (Nevada). Parker Maxfield and Haylen Walker both pitched complete games, which saved the pitching staff some wear and tear.
Next up for the Cowboys is a Saturday matchup against Lower Columbia (Washington), who is 2-0 over the first two days of play. Of the six teams in the tournament, the two with the best records (or winner of the tiebreaker) will face each other in the championship game on Sunday. Stadelmeir said the tournament provides strong competition for his team.
“That’s what we try to do, is get some other teams from out of our conference and from other states,” the coach said. “A lot of these programs we’ve known for a long time, and their coaches run good programs. We know that it’s going to be good baseball and good competition to prepare us.”