Wood River American Legion ballplayers took a little time getting started Wednesday afternoon during their Area C "A" doubleheader at Blackfoot.
Coach Matt Nelson said, "We were still on the lake in Coeur d'Alene for a while," meaning his ballplayers were still thinking about last week's five-day road trip to northern Idaho.
But after Wood River got started, the "juices started to flow," Nelson said, and the visiting Wolverines (13-12 overall, 13-7 league) earned a split with the Broncos in eastern Idaho.
Blackfoot jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four innings in the opener, but Wood River battled back to seize a 7-5 lead before the Broncos ultimately prevailed 8-7 in nine innings.
The losing pitcher in the first game, big righthander Erik Jacobson, came out in the nightcap and threw a marvelous three-hit shutout in Wood River's 12-0 run-rule victory.
Glad to have Jacobson back in form after shoulder problems limited his playing time since the season started June 6, Nelson said, "Erik threw a great game—66 pitches with two strikeouts and one walk.
"It was good to see the kids come out and execute and want the game."
Wood River (5-5 home, 8-7 away) never trailed in snapping a six-game losing streak.
Drew Anderson led off with a single in the first and scored. In the third, a leadoff walk by Michale Brunker, single by Pat Patterson (3 runs) and RBI single by Danny Kramer helped make the score 3-0, Wood River.
A five-run explosion in the fourth inning moved the meter to 8-0 and made Jacobson's job easier. Singles by Anderson and Brunker fueled the rally.
Jacobson delivered a two-run single, Kyle Rose (2 hits) tripled, Sean Bunce (2 hits) added a run-scoring double and Greg Wakefield chipped in with a run-scoring single.
Wood River added four runs in the fifth. Jacobson singled home a run, Trent Seamons lifted a sacrifice fly followed by run-scoring hits by Bunce and Bryan Bray. Everybody got into the hitting act for Hailey.
The opening game Wednesday was a little more uneven. "We came out flat and not ready to play," said Nelson.
But Wood River did manage to score seven unanswered runs after falling behind early 5-0. Patterson's fifth-inning triple and Bunce's RBI single started the comeback. Jacobson had a two-run double in the sixth, Tyler Israel drove home a big run and Anderson's two-run single made it 7-5, Hailey.
Blackfoot, however, scored two unearned runs in the home seventh and pushed across a single run in the ninth for the win. Patterson pitched into the seventh for Wood River and Kramer caught his first game since he was 10 years old.
"Danny did a fabulous job behind the plate," Nelson said.
Nelson's team entertains Highland of Pocatello today, Friday, July 13, for a league twinbill at Hailey's Founders Field at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Perennial Legion contender Marsh Falls comes to Hailey Saturday, July 14, for an Area C "A" doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
It's off to Pocatello for two more games Monday, July 16, and to Bear Lake Tuesday. The final regular-season home games are Thursday, July 19, against the Shelley Russets.