MERIDIAN - Capital designated hitter Russ Reber dropped a two-run double in the gap in left field in his first at-bat Thursday night at Rocky Mountain High.
Grizzlies righty Josh Gasser didn't give it much thought.
The senior pitcher weathered the early barrage, guiding Rocky Mountain to an 8-3 victory over Capital to start a key 5A Southern Idaho Conference home-and-home series.
"I just had to relax and throw strikes and let my defense work," said Gasser, who earned the complete-game win, allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts and four hits on 84 pitches.
"We missed him last year with an ACL injury, so this is his first varsity year basically, and he's had a fantastic year so far," Rocky Mountain coach Jake Taylor said. "It was a great night tonight for him, too."
After giving up two runs in the first and one in the third, Gasser - a College of Southern Idaho signee - retired the side in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and allowed just one hit the rest of the way.
Gasser's consistency on the mound is just one of the reasons the Grizzlies haven't skipped a beat this season despite losing nine seniors from last year's team, which won the first district and state championships in program history.
"There's definitely a winning attitude, but we have to earn it everyday at practice, and we are still trying to do that," Taylor said.
The Grizzlies appear to be within reach of another banner year. With Thursday's victory, Rocky has won 10 straight games and sits comfortably atop the 5A SIC standings at 13-1 overall and 9-1 in league play.
Capital (11-4, 7-4) had sole possession of second heading into its matchup with Rocky, but dropped into at least a share of the No. 2 spot after the loss.
The Eagles hope to earn a split of their regular-season series with the Grizzlies when the matchup shifts to Capital High on Friday.
Errors put an end to Capital's promising upset bid Thursday. Two miscues in the second led to two Rocky runs, and two more in the fourth, in combination with some strategic hits in the bottom half of the Grizzlies' lineup, led to six more runs.
"I thought it was a really good game until we hit the fourth inning, and then we gave them the extra outs," Capital coach Jerry Hollow said. "You give a team like this extra outs and they're going to capitalize on them."
Rocky Mountain finished with eight hits, including two apiece from senior center fielder Mason Smith and sophomore right fielder Matt Roll.
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