Wednesday, July 11, 2012

29 teams expected for Ray Nelson baseball

40th annual Nelson meet in Hailey

Five Wood River Baseball and Softball Association youth baseball teams are among 29 Idaho squads in three divisions gathering in Hailey for the 40th annual Ray Nelson Invitational tournament Thursday through Saturday, July 12-14.

The five Wood River teams all begin action in the three-day tournament Thursday, July 12.

Games will be played mostly at Nelson Field. Other sites are Founders Field, the Wood River High School softball field, and the Wood River Middle School baseball fields.

There are two Wood River teams in the 14-team 12-U (12-and-under) "Majors" and one Wood River team in the eight-team 10-U "Minors." In addition, there are two Babe Ruth entries from the Wood River Valley in the seven-team 15-U division for older ballplayers.

Games begin Thursday at 5 p.m. until dark, then pick up again Friday morning at 8 a.m. and continue through 7:30 p.m.

The family and player barbecue is Friday evening after the day's final game, at which time the Donnelley Sports Skills Challenge, for 12-U teams only, will be held.

It features competitions like outfield relay, around the horn, fastest around the bases and home run derby. Donnelley Sports and Smith Optics are providing a great list of prizes. A team can enter one representative only, per event.

The tourney started in 1972. It is named for Hailey baseball booster Ray Nelson, who bequeathed a love of the game to family members and friends before passing away in 1970.

Here are the participating teams plus rosters of the five Wood River squads:

13-15 year-old Division (15-U): Wood River 14-U and 13-U, Northside, Nampa, Twin Falls, Caldwell and Treasure Valley Black Sox. Championship game is Saturday at 6 p.m. at Founders Field.

"Majors" (12-U): Wood River Black, WR Green, Owls, Mini Cassia Swagger, Meridian Maniacs, Nampa Blue Lightning, Northside, Colonials, Nampa Blue, Patriots, Indians, M. Sliders and Bombers. Championship game is Saturday at 4 p.m. at Nelson Field.

Last year's 12-U winner was undefeated champ East Boise 5-3 over the Mini-Cassia Braves. Third place went to Wood River Black. Consolation winner was Northside All-Stars.

"Minors" (10-U): Wood River White, Twin Falls Cowboys, Burley, Aces, Chaos, M. Maulers, Sluggers, and Middleton. Title game is Saturday at 4 p.m. at Nelson Field.

Last year's 10-U winner was Nampa Babe Ruth All-Stars 9-7 over Mini-Cassia Sluggers. Third place went to Northside All-Stars. Consolation champ was Twin Falls Cowboys.

Here are rosters of the Wood River baseball teams:

Wood River Green 14-U team

WR: Coach Juan Martinez. Players are Dylan Broman, Nelson Cantrell, Lane Felger, Jubal Toothman, Matt Schell, Michael Levy, Verj Velacquer, Adrian Rojas and Reide Whitehead.

Wood River Green 13-U team

WR: Coach Lars Hovey. Players are Brock Mary, Zack McStay, Jacob Bulotti, Logan Scarbrough, Keaton Wall, Christian Hovey, Kyle Nelson, Raphie Rodriguez, Jens Blackman, Evan Hesselbacher, Zach Nelson and Owen Gifford.

The two teams will play each other to open the Nelson U-15 tournament Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Field.

Wood River's 12-U teams

WR Black: Coaches Scott Manning and Brent Diehl. Players are Jaren Bothwell, Nick Smith, Andy Ruiz, Steven Roth, Henry Chirp, Alexx Sanders, Jackson Swenke, Hunter Diehl, Alvaro Jiraldo, Connor Manning and Wyatt Parish.

First game: Thursday 5 p.m. at Nelson Field No. 1 vs. Patriots.

WR Green: Coach Charlie Dunn. Players are Hunter Stewart, Wilson Dunn, Ike Buxton, Canyon Macdonald, Alec Broman, Colby Whitehead, Klayton Douthit, Jett Erickson, Tiernan Naghsh, Jake Blackburn and Jack Stevens.

First game: Thursday 5 p.m. at Nelson Field No. 2 vs. Meridian Maniacs.

Wood River White 10-U team

WR White: Coach Brian Nelson. Players are Christian Bothwell, James Cantrell, Andrew Nelson, Blake Nelson, Jake Gorham, John Radford, Huck Sprong, Axel Diehl, Tuffer Manning, Ashton Tanner, Zane Barckholtz, Colby Speth and Deke Burrell.

First game: Thursday 5 p.m. at Nelson Field No. 3 vs. Burley.

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