Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Late rally lifts Wolverines over Bees 7-6

First baseball win for WRHS


There is very little that feels as satisfying as a seventh-inning rally to win a high school baseball game, which is how the Wood River High School varsity posted its first victory of the season Saturday.

Sophomore Michale Brunker stroked the eventual game-winning single scoring sophomore Sean Bunce from third base. The run gave Wood River a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh against the Bonneville Bees Saturday in Idaho Falls.

Reliever Pat Patterson, a junior, shut down the Bees in the home seventh with the help of a strong throw from senior catcher Kenny Cardona and a tag by shortstop Tyler Israel that got the final out on a Bonneville stolen base attempt.

"A great way to get our first win," said coach Matt Nelson. "It was a fun game."

Wood River (1-3), coming off a 6-1 and 11-0 doubleheader loss to 2006 State 4A runner-up Bishop Kelly March 10 in Boise, rallied from 4-0 and 6-5 deficits to beat Bonneville in the first game of a non-league twinbill.

Bonneville, loaded with juniors coming back from last year's 2-16 Bee edition, scored five runs in the first and earned a split 8-2 in the nightcap.

Winning pitcher in the opener was junior righty Erik Jacobson (1-0), who took over from starter Kenny Cardona and held the Bees in check. Cardona (3 RBI) and Brunker each had two hits to pace the seven-hit Hailey attack.

Coach Nelson liked the way the Wolverines responded after falling behind in the opener.

Patterson doubled, Brunker rapped an RBI grounder and Cardona added a two-run single in Wood River's three-run second inning that erased Bonneville's early 4-0 cushion. A Brunker leadoff single in the fourth, a Cardona sacrifice fly and Jacobson RBI single put Wood River ahead 5-4.

Bonneville recaptured a 6-5 lead in the home sixth and Wood River was down to its final three outs. That's when the visitors went to work.

Danny Kramer had a great 12-pitch at-bat, worked a walk and raced to second on a Trent Seamons bunt. Bunce got plunked and both runners advanced on a passed ball. Greg Wakefield's bouncing ball to short was booted and Kramer scored the tying run. Then Brunker brought Bunce home with a big single.

"We hit the ball pretty well," said Nelson.

Pitchers Patterson (0-1), Brunker and Seamons threw the nightcap but the Wolverines mustered only three hits. Nelson said, "We just didn't get back into the game after having such an emotional win."

Wood River plays at Blackfoot Thursday, March 22.




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