Starting its 2007 season on the right foot, the Wood River American Legion baseball team sent up 11 batters in a six-run fourth that ultimately decided Wednesday's 10-6 triumph over the Buhl Tribe in the first game of a doubleheader against Buhl, at Founders Field in Hailey.
Coach Matt Nelson's Wood River squad (1-1) mustered a 15-hit attack against two Tribe pitchers and got three-hit efforts from its seniors—leadoff hitter/shortstop Drew Anderson (3 hits, 2 runs) and catcher Kenny Cardona (3 hits, 2 RBI).
With his team ahead 4-3 in the home fourth, winning pitcher Pat Patterson (2 hits, 2 runs) started the decisive rally with a long RBI double to the center field fence. Second baseman Tyler Israel (2 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBI) followed with an RBI double in the right field gap. Then Cardona and Trent Seamons ripped RBI hits.
Wood River (11-24 last summer, 12th of 16 teams) did most of the damage against Buhl's starter Trent Craner, who was the winning pitcher when the Tribe (35-7, #2 seed) beat Upper Valley 12-4 at Twin Falls last July 29 in the championship game of the league tournament.
Craner was a mere mortal Wednesday, yielding 10 runs and 13 hits in four innings.
Israel provided the game's defensive highlight. Going to his right, he stabbed a Tanner Leckenby liner up the middle in the fourth inning of the Area C "A" Legion contest played in a frigid and windy spring day.
On the Hailey hill Patterson (89 pitches, 5 hits, 5 K) held Buhl at bay and righty reliever Danny Kramer mopped up with three innings of one-hit work against a Buhl squad that last year placed fourth at state.
First baseman Bryan Bray chipped in with two monstrous opposite-field doubles and Sean Bunce had a nice bunt single for the winning Hailey nine.
With righthander Austin Laing throwing a five-hitter with five strikeouts, Buhl (1-1) captured Wednesday's nightcap 10-3 in five innings. Andrew Lauda had an RBI triple and Casey Murray drilled two doubles. For Hailey, Anderson (2 hits, double, 2 runs) continued his hot hitting in the top spot.
Pitchers Jackson Morgus, Cardona and Seamons threw for Wood River in the nightcap.
Wood River played without starters Erik Jacobson (shoulder injury, out until late June) and Michale Brunker (ankle). Nelson's team traveled to Twin Falls Thursday and will host Burley Tuesday, June 12 at Founders Field—site of the 2007 State Legion "A" tournament.