BOISE — For as raw as Troy’s baseball team was on this stage, the Trojans were cool under pressure.
In just its second state tournament appearance, Troy is bringing home the hardware after dethroning defending state champion Genesee 4-3 in the Idaho Class 1A title game Saturday at Capital High School.
“We knew what to expect from this game,” Troy coach Travis House said. “Both times in the regular season it was 4-2. We got one and they got one. This time, we just happened to be on top.”
The Trojans (15-6) raced out to a 4-0 lead, then had to hold off their Whitepine League rivals in the Bulldogs (16-4), who won the 2021 state title with a 6-0 shutout of North Star Charter.
Freshman Dominic Holden was dominant through four innings, allowing just three hits.
Troy was able to give the youngster a boost with a run in the first inning that came with some drama.
After two quick outs, Boden DeMeerleer drew one of his three walks in the game. Austin Trout followed with a double, then Makhi Durrett singled to right to score DeMeerleer.
On the play, Trout was waved around and the throw beat him to the plate. Trout lowered his shoulder and barreled into the Genesee catcher Nate Guinard, who held onto the ball. Trout not only was out on the play, but was ejected.
“It was the correct call by the ump, absolutely,” House said. “He hasn’t played much baseball … he is a hockey player. It wasn’t malicious intent; he just didn’t know the rules. But things happen.”
The two teams traded amazing plays in the outfield.
Eli Stoner saved multiple runs as he made a running catch in right field with two on to end the second.
In the third, Derek Burt made a running catch after misreading a ball to rob Joseph Bendel of a hit. Then with two on and two outs, Burt made a diving catch to his left as he was going away toward the wall.
“He made the adjustment … those were in big moments,” Genesee coach Kevin Maurer said. “That is scoring two or three and would have put it even farther out of reach for us to mount that comeback, so those were two big-time saving plays.”
Holden helped his cause in the fourth with a leadoff double down the right-field line. Brody Patrick had one of his three singles, this one that scored Holden. Patrick later scored in the inning on a single by Cameron House to make it 3-0.
The Trojans added one more in the fifth when Patrick singled home Durrett.
Holden showed he was human in the Bulldogs’ half of the fifth. Teak Wareham singled with one down, then Cy Wareham reached on a throwing error that ended up in the Genesee bullpen, allowing Teak Wareham to score. Cy Wareham then scored on a single by Guinard to cut the lead to 4-2.
Holden struck out Jacob Krick before Travis House lifted him because of the pitch limit. Bendel came on and struck out Jackson Zenner to end the threat.
The Bulldogs rallied in the sixth as Kole Scharnorst and Derek Burt drew back-to-back walks. Teak Wareham singled home Scharnorst to cut it to 4-3. But Bendel buckled down and got the next two batters out to escape that jam.
The bottom of the seventh started with Guinard’s hard grounder to the right side. DeMeerleer dove to his right and got up fast enough to throw it to Bendel to make a momentum saving play.
“(DeMeerleer) made a championship type play that can kill momentum,” Maurer said.
Bendel struck out the next two to clinch the championship.
“Getting over that hump with those guys is huge for the future,” Travis House said. “I have tried to tell those guys (for two years) that you can compete with anyone, they just had to believe it. This proves to them that they can play with anyone.”
In the third-place game, Prairie of Cottonwood clamped down on Clearwater Valley and pitched a 4-0 shutout, gaining a measure of revenge from the May 13 district final.
The Pirates (13-11), who were beaten soundly 14-0 by the Rams of Kooskia (16-11) at Orofino in that district final, got a big effort from Chase Kaschmitter, who went 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Cody Kaschmitter had two hits, including a double, and Trenton Lorentz had two hits.
Noah Behler struck out 10 and walked three in a complete-game, one-hit performance. He also doubled home a pair of runs in the third inning.
Troy 100 210 0—4 10 1
Genesee 000 021 0—3 6 1
Dominic Holden, Joseph Bendel (5) and Makhi Durrett; Cameron Meyer, Jackson Zenner (6) and Nate Guinard. W—Holden. L—Meyer.
Troy hits — Brody Patrick 3, Makhi Durrett 2, Cameron House 2, Austin Trout (2B), Dominic Holden (2B), Kaiden Strunk.
Genesee hits — Teak Wareham 2, Jackson Zenner, Kole Scharnorst, Jacob Krick, Nate Guinard.
Prairie 002 020 0—4 10 0
Clearwater Valley 000 000 0—0 1 0
Noah Behler and Cody Kaschmitter; Trebor Altman, Ridge Shown (7) and Shown, Anthony Fabbi (7). L—Altman.
Prairie hits — Chase Kaschmitter 3 (3B), Cody Kaschmitter 2 (2B), Trenton Lorentz 2, Noah Behler (2B), Reece Shears, Alex McElroy.
Clearwater Valley hit — Daring Cross.
Isbelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @RandyIsbelle.