District Three champion Skyview had no trouble in the first round of the 4A state tournament Thursday at Bishop Kelly High.
The Hawks (24-3) dispatched Jerome 12-0 in five innings behind the strong pitching of junior Jayson Hibbard.
Hibbard allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out five. More importantly, he needed just 47 pitches against the Tigers (13-14), which means he will be eligible to pitch again Saturday.
Idaho’s pitch count rule requires two days of rest for any player who throws over 61 pitches, but only one day for pitch counts between 35-60.
While Hibbard quieted the Tigers’ bats, the Hawks pounded Jerome starter Brandon Leal for 10 runs over 2 2/3 innings on six hits.
Skyview plated three runs in the second and nine in the third, totaling nine hits, including two apiece from Julian Masuca, Bryson Vaughn and Jake Bernal.
Skyview takes on Idaho Falls (19-9) in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday.
IDAHO FALLS 3, VALLIVUE 2
Idaho Falls scored on an error and Andrew Gregersen’s line-drive single to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie.
The Falcons (15-13) managed one run in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t complete the rally in their first state appearance since 2001.
Gabe Childs went 3-for-4 for Vallivue, which plays a loser-out game against Jerome at 10 a.m. Friday at BK.
TWIN FALLS 8, MIDDLETON 0
Defending state champion Middleton committed six errors and mustered just four hits against Twin Falls.
Senior Skylar Holcomb earned the win for the Bruins (25-3), striking out nine over six innings. Twin Falls plays Skyline (16-13) — a 16-10 winner against Lakeland — in a 7 p.m. semifinal.
Middleton (17-10) will try to stay alive in a loser-out game against Lakeland at 1 p.m. at BK.
3A: PAYETTE, FRUITLAND ADVANCE
Three-time defending state champion Fruitland and conference rival Payette each won first-round games at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario.
The Grizzlies (20-3) defeated Marsh Valley 4-0 as senior pitcher Casey Rodriguez tossed a one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. Rodriguez also hit a two-run home run. Fruitland faces Sugar-Salem (20-4-1) in the semifinals
Payette (16-11) avenged an April doubleheader sweep with a 7-3 victory over Kimberly. The Pirates draw Bonners Ferry (19-3), a 10-1 winner against Teton, in the semifinals. Payette last advanced to the semifinals in 2011, a game it won 9-8 over Bonners Ferry.
2A: LOCAL TEAMS CRUISE IN OPENERS
New Plymouth, Melba and Nampa Christian each won with ease at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
New Plymouth (15-11) beat Malad 6-0, and Melba (17-7) held off Grangeville 12-8. The Pilgrims and Mustangs meet in a 3:30 p.m. semifinal.
Nampa Christian (17-9), the two-time defending state champion, scored four runs in the first inning, setting the tone for its 10-6 win over Bear Lake. The Trojans play Declo in the semifinals. The Hornets, playing in their first state tournament, advanced on Clayton Johnson’s no-hitter for a 9-0 win over Challis.