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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Sports

Baseball team makes it to state

Sixth straight trip to TVCC


For the sixth consecutive year, the Wood River High School baseball team is heading to the State 3A tournament at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Ore.

The defending champions from Hailey (23-5), still ranked first in the State 3A poll, will open state action Thursday, May 20 at 7 p.m. against Third District king Middleton (17-9).

Wood River, after losing its league championship game 9-7 to Filer last Tuesday, got to state by winning an all-important state play-in game.

Senior righthander Steve Hansen (8-2, 16-3 two seasons) won his fifth straight game down the seasonís homestretch as Wood River held off Shelley 6-3 Saturday at Pocatello.

Hansen, who has allowed only nine runs in his five consecutive wins, struggled a little with his control (4 BB, 2 HBP, 4 K) but shut down Shelley in the tight spots and wound up with a complete-game five-hitter.

Dylan McIlhenny stroked a two-run double and Kellen Kinghorn added an RBI single in Wood Riverís four-run third builing Haileyís cushion to 6-0.

Coach Lars Hovey said, "Everybody hit for us in the first three innings, but Shelley shut down our bats after that."

Brady Femling added three hits (double) to the eight-hit Hailey attack. And the infield of third baseman Tyson Reynoso, shortstop Steve Durkin, second baseman Femling and first baseman Tyler Thiede "all made great plays to help us out," said Hovey.

Ideally, senior Joe Paisley (ankle injury) will be back in center field and Hansen will take the mound Thursday against Middletonís Vikings, a team that visiting Wood River swept 6-0 and 10-5 March 20.

Hovey said, "Our pitching has been so solid for us all season. Weíll try to shut them down and take advantage of errors and put pressure on them, like weíve done all year."

Other first-round match-ups Thursday are: Filer (21-4) vs. South Fremont (17-8) at 10 a.m.; Bear Lake vs. Lakeland at 1 p.m.; and Timberlake (20-3) vs. Preston at 4 p.m. If Wood River wins its first game, the Wolverines will play the Timberlake-Preston winner Friday at 7 p.m.

Last May Wood River (25-4-1) romped through the state tournament by scores of 11-1, 10-0 and 15-1 to capture its first-ever first-place trophy. The Wolverines thus squared their five-year state tourney record at 7-7.

Sugar-Salem, Fruitland and Teton, Wood Riverís vanquished foes last May, didnít qualify in 2004. In fact, only Wood River, Middleton and Preston return from last year. Preston went two-and-out, and Middleton settled for fourth.

Championship game is Saturday at 4 p.m. Hovey hopes Wood River will be there. "Itís been an unbelievable year thatís been beyond all my expectations," the coach said.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.





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