Having played a series of close games settled in the final inning, the Wood River American Legion baseball team responded to coach Trent Seamons request to “get it done” early and won a 13-4 laugher over Madison on Tuesday at Founders Field.
Wood River built a 12-2 lead after three innings and breezed to its third Area C “A” doubleheader sweep of the season behind the pitching of righty Adrian Rojas (85 pitches, 6 innings, 4 earned runs, 12 hits, 2 BB, 2 K). Shortstop Finn Isaacson drove home four runs.
In Tuesday’s first game of the non-divisional twinbill against the Rexburg visitors on the Hailey diamond, Isaacson gapped the game-winning, walk-off single to right center field scoring Brandon Benson (4 walks, 4 runs) with the decider in the 6-5 Wrangler win.
Winning for the fourth time in the last five games, Wood River (13-14, 6-8 league) improved its home record to 6-4 and evened its season doubleheader record at 3-3-5 (3 sweeps, 3 losses, 5 twinbill splits).
Although Wood River committed four errors in Tuesday’s opener, the Wranglers (out-hitting Madison 7-4) scored in five of their seven at-bats because they were able to get their leadoff batter aboard. They did that six times, the leadoff man scoring five times.
Wood River got a solid team pitching effort from starter Dylan Broman (62 pitches, 3 innings, 0 earned runs, 4 hits, 5 BB), middle reliever Bryce John (3 innings, 0 earned runs, 1 hit, 4 BB) and winning closer Alec Nordsieck (retiring Madison 1-2-3 in the seventh).
It was an eventful start and a satisfying Wrangler finish.
Nickolaus Brunker belted his first-ever home run at the high school or Legion level, cranking out a two-run shot to left field in the first inning. After Madison tied it 2-2, Brunker’s sacrifice fly scored Brandon Benson in the third. Bryce John ripped a RBI single scoring Benson for a 4-2 Wrangler lead in the home fifth.
Madison then tallied three runs and grabbed a 5-4 lead in the sixth, but Cameron Benson banged out a leadoff single and scored on Nordsieck’s RBI double tying the game 5-5. That set the stage for Isaacson’s game winner in the seventh.
Rojas, pitching to contact in the nightcap, was helped by two double plays—the first started by center fielder John after he caught a fly ball and threw to second, and the second from third baseman Brandon Benson to Nordsieck at second and over to Broman at first.
Isaacson drilled a two-run double in the second and added a two-out, two-run single in the third. Other hitters were Brunker (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Brandon Benson (2 hits, 3 runs), Cam Benson (2 RBI), Broman and Lane Felger. Gunner Gibson scored twice but left the game with a wrist injury after being hit by a pitch.
Wood River visits the Twin Falls Hawks for a West division twinbill today, Friday, with games at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Then, Shelley invades Founders for the regular-season home finale Saturday, July 20 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., those counting as non-divisional games.
This weekend, the Wranglers will have a better idea of their chances of making the 12-team Area C “A” district tournament that begins Thursday, July 25 at Halliwell Park in Pocatello. Six of the nine teams in Wood River’s Western Division league make the playoffs—joining the top six of the 10 teams in the Eastern Division.