Friday, July 22, 2005

Legion sweeps 'Cats, winning 16-15 marathon

Thiede stars for Wood River in first twinbill sweep

Tyler Thiede, the leader of the Wood River American Legion baseball team, put the Wranglers on his back and carried them to their first doubleheader sweep of the season Tuesday on a hot day at Hailey's Founders Field.

Wood River defeated the Madison Bobcats 16-15 in a nine-inning, three-hour and 10-minute marathon, then the Wranglers finished off their big day in Area C "A" action with a 10-6 victory over the Rexburg visitors in the nightcap.

All Thiede did in the first game was stroke a pair of long triples in the first two innings, helping Wood River to an early 7-0 lead. He made a great over-the-shoulder catch right in front of the center field fence to blunt a 'Cats rally in the sixth. Then he pitched three innings of tough two-hit scoreless relief to earn the win.

Wood River (15-20 overall, 9-17 league) snapped a five-game losing skid and kept its hopes alive for a spot in the Area C "A" district tourney starting Wednesday, July 27 in eastern Idaho. The Wranglers hosted Burley Thursday in Hailey.

Thiede led the way, but Wood River had numerous stars in the back-and-forth marathon, which had 31 runs scored, 31 hits, six different pitchers and 374 pitches thrown.

It was a game in which Madison stroked 10 doubles out of its 15 hits, and Wood River (16 hits) playing small ball had four bunt singles and one successful squeeze bunt.

Casey Hawkes (2 hits, 6 RBI) belted a three-run homer in the fourth. Morgan Uhrig (3-for-3), Drew Anderson (2 hits, 2 runs) and shortstop Tyler Israel (3 hits, 3 runs) contributed at the plate. So did Thiede (2 hits, 4 runs, 4 RBI). But the pivotal players were two near the bottom of the batting order.

With the 'Cats leading 15-13 in the home seventh and Wood River down to its final strike, right fielder Trent Seamons drilled a 1-2 pitch from Madison's closer Jordan Hepworth for a game-tying, two-run single to right and a 15-15 tie.

In the ninth, Danny Kramer (2 runs) was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a Kenny Cardona sacrifice bunt, went to third on a passed ball and scored the winning run on a wild pitch—ending a spirited rally from 7-0 and 11-6 deficits by visiting Madison (9-26).

Seamons (1-1) picked up his first Legion win with four-plus innings of eight-hit work in the nightcap won by Hailey 10-6. It was shortened by darkness to five frames. Thiede, summoned in relief with Madison threatening, retired the final two batters on seven pitches. Wood River improved to 4-8 at home.

Coach Eli Lloyd's Wood River squad exploded for seven runs in the first inning of the nightcap on RBI hits by Anderson (2 hits, double), Israel (triple), Pat Patterson, Jimmy Pierson (triple) and Kramer (2 hits). Hawkes (triple, 2 runs) and Thiede (double, 2 runs) chipped in to the nine-hit Wrangler attack.

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