Losing three closely-contested games and winning once, the Wood River American Legion baseball team went 1-4 and made progress with its hitting during the Wingers Wood Bat Father's Day Classic tournament held June 16-19 at Rodeo Park and Skyview High School in Nampa.
The four-day tournament for six teams in this year's Wingers "A" bracket ended a busy stretch of 11 games in just nine days for coach Trent Seamons' Wranglers from Hailey. Wood River (2-11) scored 44 runs in five games at Nampa to improve its scoring average from 6.5 to 7.4 runs a game.
"Overall we keep getting better and climbing those steps to become a more consistent team," said first-year coach Seamons, a former Wrangler now playing college baseball in Kentucky.
Wood River dropped a pair of one-run games, 5-4 to the Boise Seminoles and 15-14 to Vallivue from Caldwell, and also played eventual tournament champion Pocatello Razorbacks very tough in a 14-11 opening-game setback Thursday. The Wranglers snapped a five-game losing skid with a 12-6 win over Kuna Saturday afternoon, and fell to Nampa 9-3.
Seamons said, "We got some good pitching in the Nampa. But we just ran out of arms in our final game against Vallivue when we had an early 9-1 lead and just couldn't get any balls over the plate and walked too many."
Righthander Finn Isaacson (1-1) suffered through a rocky start Thursday, giving up seven runs to Pocatello in the first frame. But he hung in there and waited for Wood River's 12-hit attack to snap into gear. The Wranglers tied it 7-7 in a wild game before Pocatello outlasted the Hailey squad 14-11.
Sparking the hitters were Austin Hafer (2 hits, triple, 4 runs), Zach Israel (triple, double, 3 RBI), Alex Padilla (2 hits) and Collin Dean (2 hits).
Hafer tossed the first three innings and Israel threw the final four in the 5-4 loss to Boise High Seminoles Friday at Skyview. "Both pitched well, giving up only one earned run each," said Seamons. "Boise was up 4-0 and we took advantage of some walks to score three runs and make it close."
Saturday, righty Tazmin Lyons started the game, went five innings and enjoyed an early 7-0 cushion en route to the 12-6 victory over Kuna. Relievers were Dean and Ben Williams. This time, Wood River capitalized on free passes and also got hitting from Braxton Parish (3 hits, 3 RBI), Cam Benson (2 hits), Israel (2 hits, 2 RBI) and Tim Boyle (2 hits).
It was a cool and drizzly day Saturday and the weather worsened toward evening, when lightning cut short Nampa's 9-3 win over Wood River in the seventh inning. Boyle pitched very well for the Wranglers in his starting assignment and kept the score at 1-1 into the fifth, when Nampa made it 5-1.
Sunday, Hafer's leadoff inside-the-park homer sparked Wood River to a six-run first inning and a 9-1 lead over Vallivue in the third stanza. Hafer (3 hits, 2 runs, 5 RBI) added a bases-loaded triple. Isaacson started the game and went four innings, but Wood River's relievers had control problems (14 walks in the game) and Vallivue emerged a walk-off winner 15-14.
Other Hailey hitters were Dean (double, 3 runs), Marshall Reyburn (2 RBI) and Ben Williams (double and 3 RBI). For the season, top hitters are Padilla .424, Isaacson .400, Benson .395 and Israel .398.
The Wranglers resume Area C "A" action Friday, June 24 with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Twin Falls, then Wood River hosts Marsh Falls Saturday, June 25 for a 1 p.m. twinbill at Hailey's Founders Field.