Columbia’s Cinderella run ended Thursday at the hands of Bonneville pitcher Thomas Alexander.
The senior struck out 14 and held the Wildcats to one run on three hits to lead Bonneville to a 6-1 win in the first round of the 5A state tournament at Borah High.
“He really located his fastball,” Bonneville coach Joldy Watts said. “With that velocity and his location, it’s going to be tough to hit him in that situation.”
Columbia (11-17) scored its only run in the fourth inning, when Adrian Crain reached on a bunt single, stole second and third and came home on Carson Brown’s infield single.
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But Bonneville (22-7) answered with a six-run fifth inning to pull away.
Bonneville advances to face the winner of Thursday’s Rocky Mountain-Coeur d’Alene game in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at Borah. Columbia faces the loser at 5 p.m. Friday at Capital in an elimination game.
The Wildcats surprised followers throughout the state by reaching the 5A state tournament for the first time in program history. Columbia went 10-38 in its first two seasons at the 5A level, and SIC coaches picked Columbia to finish 11th in the 12-team conference in a preseason poll.
But Columbia scored a pair of upsets at the district tournament to earn a state berth.
BONNEVILLE 6, COLUMBIA 1
Columbia (11-17) — Hitters: Garrett Turner 1-3, Adrian Crain 1-3, Carson Brown 1-3 (RBI). Pitchers: Jordan Forrester (L) 4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Braden Ray 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K; Kyle Gabel 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K.
Bonneville (22-7) — Hitters: Tavyn Lords 1-2, Caden Christensen 2-4, Dalton Virgil 2-4 (2B, RBI), Thomas Alexander 1-3 (RBI), Randon Hostert 1-4, Conner Witbeck 1-1, Jordan Perez 1-3, Tom Roybal 1-2 (2B, 2 RBIs), Bruer Webster 1-3. Pitchers: Alexander (W) 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 K.