Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Legion boys play a little bingo at home

Express Staff Writer

Coach Matt Nelson challenged his team recently to "stop talking about what they were going to do, and just do it."

It worked for Nike.

And it worked for Nelson's nine as well, who responded by taking four games from visiting teams Highland of Pocatello and Marsh Falls in double-header action at Founder's Field Friday and Saturday.

"I was tired of hearing about shoulda, coulda, woulda," Nelson said. "I think they were too. They just went out and played."

The victories pushed Wood River's win streak to five in a row, nearing the seven-game spurt the team enjoyed in June. With one home stand remaining in the regular season, Wood River is sitting on a mark of 18-13 overall and 18-8 in league.

The Area C "A" district tournament is in Idaho Falls, starting July 25. Wood River will play host for the State "A" tournament, August 3-7 at Founder's Field in Hailey. With its host status, Wood River also has an automatic entry into the tilt.

Wood River started off its two-day home stand against Highland of Pocatello Friday and made things interesting in the opener by allowing the Royals to score three runs in the final frame to pull within one.

"We committed an error and then Danny Kramer strikes out one batter, allows a hit, and strikes out the next for two outs. Instead of getting the third out, we gave up a two-run double and then an error," Nelson said.

Wood River pulled out the skin-of-their-teeth victory 7-6, but Nelson sent his boys back for more swings in the batting cage and infield practice before the second game started.

"They were mad the game ended like that," Nelson said.

The Wolverines took out their frustration on the opposing pitcher with a stellar first-inning effort. Wood River rallied for nine runs in what turned out to be a lopsided 13-3 five-inning victory.

"They responded pretty well," Nelson said.

Michael Brunker cleared the bases with a triple and Pat Patterson ripped a 2-RBI double during the opening rally. Trent Seamons, Greg Wakefield and Tyler Israel (2 doubles) added to Wood River's 10-hit effort.

Winning pitcher Wakefield (2-0) kept Hillcrest off balance, allowing just one hit through five innings of work.

Pat Patterson picked up his seventh win of the season, propelling his pals to a 7-2 win over Marsh Falls Saturday. Patterson struck out six and scattered seven hits during his stint on the mound. He also scored three runs.

Trailing 1-0, Wood River pushed four over the plate in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, Sean Bunce tagged a RBI single, followed up by run-scoring singles by Michael Brunker and Drew Anderson.

Stratton Laggis, grandson of longtime local locals Stratton and Marilyn Laggis, had two hits for Marsh Falls. Brother Kody was on the field for the second game.

Hometown Hailey matched their 10-hit output in the opener with 10 knocks in the nightcap. None were bigger that Danny Kramer's monstrous jack in the bottom of the sixth to end the game by 10-run mercy rule, 11-1. Right before the homerun, which was well over the left-field fence, Kramer handled all three outs at third base to send Marsh Falls down in four.

Pitcher Erik Jacobson, who has given up only seven hits in the last two games, twirled a four-hitter. With Sean Bunce catching, Jacobson (2-1) maintained his velocity throughout the game and kept locating his spots.

"He's pitching really well right now," Nelson said. "One of the best I have ever seen."

Kyle Rose finished up a fine home stand with four hits and three runs against Marsh Falls. Anderson was 2-for-2 in the nightcap.

The Wolverines split at Pocatello Monday, losing the opener 11-4 and winning the nightcap 16-6. A 17-hit barrage included a big homerun by Jacobson. Brunker picked up the win on the mound.

The Wolverines played Bear Lake Tuesday and will round out the regular season at home against Shelley on Thursday. Game times are 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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