Friday, June 24, 2011

Young ballplayers grab Hemmert prize at Salmon

Weekend baseball tournament is a success

The Wood River White Baseball Minors (10 and under) earned first-place hardware at the Max Hemmert Memorial youth baseball tournament June 17-18 in Salmon. Team members posing here are, top from left, Jack Wojcik, Hunter Diehl and Alex Sanders. In the middle row, from left, Klay-ton Douthit, Blake Nelson, Andrew Nelson, James Cantrell, John Radford and Crow Macdonald. At the bottom is catcher Connor Manning. Not pictured are coaches Matt Douthit and Scott Manning. Courtesy photo

It was a 4-0 weekend and championship trophies for the 10-and-under Wood River White "Mi-nors" youth baseball team of the Wood River Baseball and Softball Association (WRBSA) June 18 at Salmon.

Coached by Matt Douthit and Scott Manning, Wood River White escaped a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the final inning to beat the Idaho Falls Chukars 11-10 in the championship game of the Max Hemmert Memorial tourney June 18.

James Cantrell, who came in as the closer to pitch to the final Chukars batter with the sacks full, recorded a strikeout and was named Most Valuable Player for the game by coaches.

Wood River advanced to the title game with three relatively easy victories—14-1 over the Am-mon All-Stars and 22-4 over Salmon on Friday, June 17, and 10-4 over Florence, Mont. on Saturday. Andrew Nelson was the MVP of the win over Florence.

Pitching for Wood River in the championship game were starter Andrew Nelson, long reliever Alex Sanders for two and two-thirds innings, and Cantrell for the last out.

"Our bats really came alive in the two Friday games. In fact, all the kids hit well over the week-end and we had quite a few doubles," said coach Douthit.

There were eight teams in the "Minors" meet, and Wood River was the only one to remain un-beaten.

The outcome represented progress for Wood River, which won only three of its 10 All-Star tour-nament games during the Snake River Shootout in Buhl and Northside Tournament played earlier in Jerome.

Next, Wood River travels to the Mini Cassia tournament at Burley today, Friday, and Saturday, June 25, then enjoys the holiday before playing in the 40th annual Ray Nelson Memorial tourna-ment Thursday through Saturday, July 7-9 headquartered at Nelson Field in Hailey.

Last year there were 10 "Majors" 12-and-under teams in the Nelson tournament won by Nampa Blue, and another 12 teams in the "Minors" 10-and-under Nelson tournament taken by the Twin Falls Pioneers. The WRBSA plans to have three teams in the 2011 Nelson—two in the "Majors" and one in the "Minors."

The state tournament July 13-16 at Meridian concludes the All-Star season for Douthit's "Mi-nors" squad.

Also at the Salmon tournament, the Wood River 12-and-under "Majors" team coached by Charlie Dunn and Terry Wall captured third place.

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