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Badger baseball: The boys are back

by EMILY BONSANT
Staff Writer | March 30, 2023 1:00 AM

“It’s a great turnout this year,” Bonners Ferry Badger baseball coach Tom Turpin told the Herald. “Freshmen came out, we’ve got some guys that can really play and have good arms.”

He was happy to see young players earn hits at away games. He feels positive for the team's chances this year, starting out the season there were games that could have gone either way, but resulted in a Badger loss in the end. Currently the Badgers are 2-5 versus varsity opponents.

The Badgers have visited the state tournament the past six years.

Fresh off earning a split against Grangeville last weekend, the Badgers (3-5) were shut out against Sandpoint at War Memorial Field on March 21. The Bulldogs won the first game 15-0, and the second game, 10-0.

A double header against St. Maries on March 25 was canceled.

Last year at the 3A state tournament, Badger baseball went 0-2 and lost to the eventual state champion Marsh Valley in the first game. Marsh Valley was clearly the best team at the tournament and beat all their opponents by at least 10 runs in five innings each game, Turpin said.

The Badgers couldn’t beat the Eagles’ barrage of hits and lost 13-0 in the first game.

The Badgers went on and lost the second game, which was a loser-out game, in extra innings. The Badgers were clinging on to a 1-0 lead until Snake River scored with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the game tied at 1-1 with a runner on second, the Badger centerfielder lost the ball in the sun and the runner eventually scored for the 2-1 Snake River victory.

Pitching, Trey Bateman struck out seven while walking only one batter and giving up only five hits. The Badger offense left 11 runners on base.

“It was an unfortunate way to end the game and season but that was our fourth extra inning loss this year including two other games that ended in the bottom of the last inning,” Turpin said.

The Badgers finished the season with a 13-13 record. This was the sixth state tournament the Badger baseball team qualified for in the last seven years, not including 2020 due to COVID-19.

Badgers Teigan Banning, Trey Bateman, Bo Bateman and Blake Rice were also selected as Intermountain League All-League Players in 2022.

Trey Bateman was selected as All-League Most Valuable Player this year. Since 2015, every year except 2020 due to COVID-19, a Bonners Ferry Badger has been recognized as the All-League MVP.

2015 — Steve Anzalone, 2016 — Vincent Bennett, 2017 — Co-MVPs — Jesse Dunham and Nick Sabin (both from BFHS), 2018 — Brady Bateman, 2019 — Co-MVPs — Seth Bateman (BFHS) and Jack McDonald (Timberlake HS), 2020 — Season canceled due to COVID-19, 2021 — Bo Bateman, 2022 — Trey Bateman

Badger Teigan Banning, was named as a player for the All-Idaho Baseball team in 2022.

The All-Idaho baseball team is voted on by coaches across the state.

Banning played all over the diamond, but state coaches found that he stood out in center field. He hit .326, drove in 16 runs and stole 10 bases.

Trey Bateman, sophomore, was named second team for All-Idaho teams.

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(Photo by Emily Bonsant)

Henry Willis practices swing in battling cage at practice.