Friday, April 3, 2009

Snow way! Weather helps Hailey nip ‘Dogs 3-2

Founders Field opener a wet one

Express Staff Writer

Karma and a fast-moving snowstorm helped the Wood River High School baseball team debut its home season Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over the Kimberly Bulldogs, in a non-conference game shortened to four innings by wet weather.

Shortstop Michale Brunker's run-scoring double that drove home catcher Sean Bunce with Wood River's third run in the third inning proved the game winner for righty senior starter Bryan Bray (4 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 0 BB, 2 K).

Wood River coach Matt Nelson wasn't arguing when the umpiring crew called the 67-minute game for safety reasons at 5:15 p.m.—about 25 minutes after it started snowing and five minutes after it started dumping at Hailey's soggy Founders Field diamond.

The decision to end the game due to snow came right after Kimberly second baseman Nic Jayo cracked a two-run double to give Kimberly a 4-3 lead with one out in the top of the fifth. Hailey fielders couldn't distinguish Jayo's hard-hit ball to the outfield from the snowflakes and the game quickly ended.

Umpires ruled that the game reverted to four full innings, an official game under the seven-inning format and one that Wood River led 3-2 at the end of four. For Hailey, it was payback for what had happened at Twin Falls last Tuesday.

In that game, the nightcap of a non-league doubleheader between Wood River and Twin Falls, the Wolverines crept ahead of Twin Falls 7-6 in the top of the sixth—only to have the game shortened by darkness and settled by the five-inning score, Twin Falls up 6-5.

Tuesday's outcome gave 4A Wood River (2-4, 0-0 league) a season sweep with 3A Kimberly (4-5) and snapped an early-season four-game losing skid for Nelson's Wolverines.

Bray (1-0) was a source of strength on the Founders Field hill, throwing strikes in a 49-pitch effort and retiring eight 'Dogs in a row after spotting Kimberly a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Wood River pitcher got fielding help in the fourth when right fielder Tyler Peters gunned down 'Dogs pitcher Jace Thacker at third base, Greg Wakefield applying the tag for the second out and forestalling a Bulldog threat.

Wakefield (triple), Bunce (double) and designated hitter Pat Gove (RBI single) had Wood River's other hits as the home batters hit the ball very well, but usually right at fielders. Juan Martinez added an RBI ground ball in the second.

The Wolverines were due to host Bonneville of Idaho Falls for a doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Founders, then plan to travel to Mountain Home for two more games Saturday, April 4 at 2 p.m. The Minico Spartans (3-9, 0-0) arrive at Founders Tuesday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. for a single game to open the 2009 Great Basin Conference schedule of games.

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