Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Wolverines clash with Jerome in Great Basin opener

Thursday at Jerome

On a recent slide, the Wood River High School varsity baseball team is nevertheless looking ahead with confidence to its match-up with the top-ranked 4A prep baseball team in Idaho Thursday, May 3.

Third-seeded Wood River (7-13, 3-3 league) opens the four-team Great Basin Conference West tournament Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on the home field of the #2-seeded Jerome Tigers (20-3, 4-2 league).

Jerome is ranked first by And Wood River has lost four in a row after winning four straight.

It's a mismatch on paper but coach Matt Nelson's Wolverines have split two closely played games with Jerome in the last 10 days and are hoping to play spoiler against a Tiger team that has been on a roll.

At last weekend's fourth annual Tony Hansen Memorial Tournament in Preston, Jerome entered the two-day, eight-team meet with a head of steam after its 3-0 home shutout over Wood River last Tuesday and continued to throw up a bunch of zeroes.

Jerome won its first two games Friday by 5-0 and 10-0 scores over Rigby and Sugar-Salem of Sugar City.

Saturday the Tigers slipped past the host Preston Indians 15-11 in their final round-robin game and for all intents and purposes won the championship game by a 15-5 rout over Highland of Pocatello.

But, according to tournament director Mike Hansen of Preston, Jerome used an illegal pitcher (too many innings pitched) in the finale against the 5A Highland Rams and thus forfeited the title to Highland.

The Rams also won three preliminaries 11-10 over defending champion Bear Lake, 10-4 over Wood River and 15-12 over the Buhl Tribe (12-9).

Last weekend's Hansen tournament consolation champion was Bear Lake 13-2 in five innings over Rigby.

Jerome also didn't have much luck losing the coin flip to defending tournament champion Minico of Rupert (18-6, 4-2) for the top seed in the Great Basin tournament. So, Jerome will host Wood River Thursday while top-seeded Minico entertains #4-seeded Burley (4-16, 1-5).

The winners and losers of Thursday's games play again Friday at 4:30 p.m. That means if Minico and Jerome uphold their seeding and prevail Thursday, Wood River based on its higher seed will host Burley Friday, May 4 in a 4:30 p.m. loser-out game at Founders Field in Hailey.

Championship game is Monday, May 7 with one automatic State 4A tournament berth at stake.

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