4A state baseball roundup: Bishop Kelly, Skyview advance to semifinals

The Knights will play Twin Falls, while the Hawks take on Lakeland.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comMay 16, 2014 

NAMPA - The Bishop Kelly High baseball team's Redemption Tour has lined up perfectly so far.

The Knights bashed defending 4A state champion Bonneville 14-1 on Thursday at Rodeo Park in the first round of this year's state tournament.

They'll face Twin Falls at 4 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.

A win there could set up a rematch with conference rival Skyview, which faces Lakeland in the 7 p.m. semifinal.

"We're hungry," Bishop Kelly senior Bowen Ogata said. "We're just playing very well right now and I'm very proud of my team."

The Knights possess 13 seniors, many of whom have played on the varsity team since they were freshmen. But their medal collection is a bit light.

Bonneville beat the Knights in the 4A semifinals last year. Twin Falls beat them in the final in 2011. And Skyview has beaten them in the District Three championship game each of the past two years.

"Bonneville gave us a huge heartache (last year)," Bishop Kelly coach Bobby Sutcliffe said. "… We actually have a chance, our seniors, to give back what we've felt the last few years. But we'll see where it leads."

Ogata likely will pitch Friday. The Utah-bound infielder also is the team's ace, but Sutcliffe opted to use lefthander Tyler Oldenberg against Bonneville's fastball-loving lineup. Oldenberg allowed one run on seven hits in 5[0xb7] strong innings.

"(The Knights) are well-coached, they're disciplined, they're opportunistic - they bring a lot to the table," Twin Falls coach Tim Stadelmeir said.

Ogata is the No. 1 threat.

He went 3-for-4 with two doubles and five RBIs against Bonneville ace Kohl Hostert, who has signed to pitch at Oregon.

The Knights notched 12 hits and eight runs in 5[0xb7] innings against Hostert while only striking out three times. Hostert beat Bishop Kelly in last year's tournament.

"Last year, he was nasty at the knees," Sutcliffe said. "… I haven't seen him pitch belt-high in a long time."

The game might have gone a different direction if not for a fantastic play by one of the least-likely Knights. Junior Philip Browning, playing right field because Oldenberg was pitching, threw a perfect strike to home plate in the bottom of the fourth to preserve a 2-1 lead and end the inning.

The Knights followed with three runs in the top of the fifth.

"That was a huge momentum-changer," Ogata said. "That's nice, to see everyone contributing. Hats off to him because he made a great throw. That really changed the way the game was going to go."

SKYVIEW 4, POCATELLO 0

North Carolina commit Sage Diehm pitched a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to lead the Hawks past the Indians despite not having his best command.

Diehm's wildness allowed six runners to reach base - four walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch on a strikeout. He recorded back-to-back strikeouts with two runners on base in the second and sixth innings.

"He didn't feel comfortable, but he did a great job battling through it," Skyview coach Ryan Bobo said. "Even on his bad day, we tell him he's still pretty good, and that's what he was today."

The Hawks strung together five singles in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. Kody Graves stroked a bases-loaded single to right that turned into a bases-clearing play when the ball scooted under the glove of right fielder Jarom Campos.

Seven Hawks recorded hits, including two from Diehm.

"Our bats have come through all year," Diehm said. "It's just a matter of making plays behind our pitchers, which we can do."

TWIN FALLS 9, COLUMBIA 3

The Bruins scored nine runs in a two-inning burst - more than enough backing for junior pitcher Kaleb Jones, who only allowed one hit before the seventh inning. Jones struck out 10.

"We just kept attacking the outer half and were able to force some bad contact," Jones said.

The Bruins shook off a bad start this season with a 15-game winning streak. They have embraced their small-ball identity by putting the ball in play.

The Bruins struck out just once Thursday.

"This is a feisty group, ever since they were young," Stadelmeir said. "They're a lot of fun to coach."

LAKELAND 4, JEROME 3

Dylan Piva smacked a two-out triple in the bottom of the sixth inning to score Brian Howell with the deciding run. Piva was 3-for-3. Kenny Cooper added a pair of RBIs.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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