It's been an uphill climb for the Wood River High School baseball team at the halfway point of its 2012 season.
The Wolverines have scored only 36 runs in 11 games and are suffering through what often happens with struggling teams—watching helplessly as other teams benefit from hit-after-hit falling safely for them.
Yet seventh-year Wood River head coach Matt Nelson is upbeat and sees good times ahead for his young squad.
He said, "The bats are coming around and the Wolverines are fun to watch.
"For the freshmen it has been and continues to be a very steep learning curve, but they're a relentless group and show great promise for the future of Wood River baseball."
Wood River (1-10, 0-6 league) took its lumps last weekend during a three-game Great Basin Conference series with the Jerome Tigers (5-4, 3-3).
Jerome swept the home-and-home series 12-0, 15-4 and 11-1, out-hitting the Wolverines 35-12. Big innings doomed Wood River once again—Jerome's seven-run third busting open a 6-2 game in Saturday's 15-4 road loss, and an eight-run Tiger sixth cracking open a close 3-2 game in the 11-1 nightcap win.
Nelson said, "Our team made some good strides this past weekend. We did get beat pretty badly 11-1 and 15-4, but there was once again that one inning that beat us up."
"Freshman Austin Krenz made two great plays in right field in the second game. He prevented three runs from happening and kept the game a 1-1 tie. Freshman Will Long made his presence known in the infield and kept his errorless streak at six games.
"We had many opportunities to score in the second game but came up just short. Tim Boyle pitched the end of the first game and started the second and did a fantastic job striking out seven Jerome hitters.
"Our big hitters on the day were again "El Senior" Austin Hafer leading the way with three hits, two walks and six stolen bases. He has a tremendous impact on the game when he is in. Nick "Pickle" Brunker needs a pat on the back for his effort behind the plate this weekend. He took a beating and threw out two batters trying to steal second."
The big thorn in Wood River's side all weekend was Kevin Bos, who went 4-for-4 (5 RBI) in Friday's 10-0 shutout at Hailey's Founders Field and added three doubles in Saturday's first game at Jerome. Jerome righty Cameron Ahrens (8 K) threw a tidy, 76-pitch four-hit shutout.
Wood River righthander Finn Isaacson was Friday's losing pitcher, but he allowed only two earned runs and eight hits in four frames and whiffed six. Isaacson also had two hits.
The Wolverines hosted an unbeaten Kimberly Bulldogs team (10-0) for a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday, and pick up Great Basin play Friday, April 13 at Burley (2-8, 1-5). League-leading Twin Falls Bruins (11-1, 6-0) whipped Burley 11-1, 18-9 and 10-8 last weekend.
Wood River hosts Burley Saturday, April 14 for a 12 noon Founders Field doubleheader and hosts Minico (8-5, 5-1) on Friday, April 20 in Hailey.