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For the week of April 26 through May 2, 2000

Defense comes up big in seven game win streak

Glovework, pitching combine for seven-game win streak

April has been a record-setting month for the Wood River High School varsity baseball team—thanks to outstanding defense, clutch pitching and timely hits.

Never before in the nine years of the Wolverine baseball program has a team played such solid defense for such a stretch. The result? A school-record seven-game winning streak.

Wood River (13-4) set the new standard by sweeping three games at Hailey’s Founders Field last Friday and Saturday. The Wolverines edged South Fremont 5-0 and 2-1, and beat the Twin Falls junior varsity 12-6.

During April Wood River is 9-1. Since its stinging twinbill loss at Buhl March 25, the Wolverines have won 10 of 11 games and committed only 19 errors—compared to 44 errors for opposing teams. They’ve allowed an average of only three runs per game.

And they’ve gotten great pitching.

Staff ace Matt Zachary (5-1, 0.88 ERA) pitched his second complete game Friday in blanking the South Fremont Cougars 5-0. The big senior whiffed a season-high 10 batters, scattered three hits and didn’t allow a Cougar base runner to third base.

Junior righty Tyler Nice (4-2) tamed the Cougars 2-1 with a six-hit complete game Saturday morning in a game that exemplified tough pitching and defense and clutch hits.

Andrew Beck’s two-out, full-count triple scored Max Paisley with the tying run in the fifth, then Zachary singled pinch runner Joe Molyneux home with the eventual game-winning run. Left fielder Riley Nash made a fine, diving two-out catch in the sixth to strand two Cougars.

Wood River’s defense committed two errors in the 5-0 victory and just one in the 2-1 win. By Saturday afternoon the Wolverines were ready for their second errorless game of the season. They hit, too, pounding 12 hits in the 12-6 triumph over Twin.

Yesterday, Wood River (7-0 home, 3-2 league) tried to avenge its only loss of April. Coach Lars Hovey’s Hailey nine hosted Kimberly (8-8, 4-2 league) in an important Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference game. Kimberly lost 8-2 and 26-1 to Buhl (17-1, 6-0 league) Wednesday.

The Wolverines travel to the 16-team Digger Tournament at Rigby Friday, April 28, then entertain Wendell Tuesday at Founders Field.

The Wolverines play Bear Lake at 11:15 a.m. Friday and Butte at 3:45 p.m. Friday, both games at Rigby High School, then take on Rigby High School on Saturday at 10 a.m.

WR 5, South Fremont 0

Zachary (18-4 in three seasons) hasn’t had many bad outings on the hill for Hovey and pitching coach Larry Lloyd. Friday’s effort was one of the best for the righthander whose ground ball-to-fly ball ratio is 56-15.

He struck out the side in the first and fifth innings and didn’t allow a fly ball out. Zachary picked off a runner in the fourth and benefited from two double plays involving first baseman Jake Nilsen.

Nilsen gloved a line drive and doubled off the runner at first in the sixth. Third baseman Jake Upham scooped up a grounder and started a rare 5-3-5 twin killing in the seventh.

Second baseman Cory Goicoechea (2 hits) doubled home Paisley and scored on an Upham two-out single for a 2-0 Wolverine lead in the third. Nice (5-for-7 for the weekend) added two hard-hit singles for Hailey.

WR 2, South Fremont 1

Nice’s best pitching performance of the season came at the right time because Wood River’s bats were quiet Saturday morning. The Wolverines stranded six runners in the first four innings and trailed 1-0.

Paisley (3 hits) opened the home fifth with a single and stole second, but he languished on third when the Cougars turned a double play. Fortunately clean-up hitter Andrew Beck snapped out of a 1-for-12 slump ripping an RBI triple to left center.

Zachary’s game-winning single plated Molyneux, leaving Nash to make his game-saving catch when the Cougars mustered a two-out rally helped by Wood River’s only error.

Wood River outhit the Cougars 10-6, Upham adding two singles.

WR 12, Twin Falls JV 6

The Wolverines erased a 1-0 deficit with four unearned runs in the second and built an 8-2 cushion after four complete. Twin Falls, a 2-1 loser to South Fremont in an earlier game, finally snapped out of an 11-inning slumber with four runs in the fifth.

Summoned in relief, Goicoechea put out the fire and earned the save for winning pitcher Nash (3-1) with two-and-two-thirds innings of no-hit work. Meanwhile, Wood River got three runs back in the home fifth for an 11-6 lead sparked by a double off the bat of Nice (3 hits and 3 RBI).

Leadoff batter Paisley (2 hits, 3 RBI) chipped in with a two-run triple. First baseman Jeff Bolton added two singles to the 12-hit Wolverine attack.

WR 11, Filer 1

Last Tuesday, a 55-minute rain delay preceded the start of an SCIC league game between Wood River and Filer at Founders Field. It rained steadily throughout the game and generally made a mess of things.

After trailing 1-0, the Wolverines pieced together an eight-run third and three-run fourth to beat Filer 11-1 behind Zachary’s two-hit pitching.

Leadoff singles by James Cordes and Goicoechea in the home third inning, followed by RBI doubles to the left field fence by Andrew Beck (2 RBI) and Zachary (2 hits), sparked the big uprising. Matt Beck (2 RBI) added an RBI double.

WOLVERINE NOTES—Spring rust category: Wood River committed 15 errors in its first six games, and just 19 in the last 11 games….This year’s team is virtually dead even with last year’s league champion squad in runs allowed, but the 2000 team (.354 batting average) has scored more 30 more runs and committed eight fewer errors.


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