Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Big innings help WRHS end the Minico hex

Wolverines snap 53-game GBC losing skid

Express Staff Writer

Dylan Broman of Wood River takes a healthy cut at a Twin Falls offering during Saturday’s league doubleheader at Hailey’s Founders Field. Photo by Willy Cook

     Thanks to senior Finn Isaacson’s strong pitching and a pair of big, bat-around innings, the Wood River High School baseball team snapped a pair of lengthy losing streaks Monday at Hailey’s Founders Field.

     Wood River (4-6, 1-5 league) scored five runs in the first and added six more in the third en route to a resounding 12-4 Great Basin Conference home victory over the defending league champion Minico Spartans.

     The win on a beautiful spring day ended Wood River’s 23-game losing skid to Minico teams dating back to a 5-4 home victory over the perennially mighty Spartans in 2007, nearly seven years ago to the day.

     During the streak that coincided with Minico winning seven GBC titles in nine years, Minico outscored Wood River 236-65 and held Wolverine teams to one run or less in 13 of the 23 setbacks over that span.

     In addition, Monday’s Great Basin win ended a streak of 53 consecutive Great Basin league losses for Wood River dating back to a 9-8 home win over Jerome on April 12, 2011.

     First-year coach Donnie Green’s Wolverines had lost to Minico 3-0 and 14-7 at Rupert prior to Spring Break.

     Yet on Monday, they broke out their bats with an 11-hit attack, ran bases aggressively and capitalized on six uncharacteristic Spartan errors.

     “One of our goals was to beat Minico this year,” said Green.

     Isaacson (2-2) threw five innings, whiffed six, allowed seven hits and walked five. He threw 92 pitches, 48 for strikes.

     As Wood River’s clean-up hitter, Isaacson also delivered with an RBI double in the five-run first. He ripped an RBI single crucial to his team’s six-run third inning uprising after Minico had cut its deficit to 5-2.

     Wood River sent up 11 batters in the first as Minico was sloppy in the field with five errors in the first. Freshman Nic Tidwell (2 hits, 2 runs) followed Isaacson’s RBI double with a single. No. 9 hitter Tyler Price drilled an RBI single.

     Senior Armando Gomez (2 hits, 2 runs) jump-started the six-run, 12-batter Hailey third with a leadoff single.

     Price, a newcomer from Filer, walked with one out, leadoff hitter Owen Gifford was plunked and third baseman Reide Whitehead (2 hits) ripped an RBI single.

     Catcher Cameron Benson (2 runs) kept the inning alive with great hustle to first base on an infield grounder to break up what would have been an inning-ending double play. His aggressive base-running and four straight singles by Isaacson, Tidwell, Dylan Broman and Gomez helped Wood River build an 11-2 lead in the third.

     Freshman Cade Schott relieved Isaacson and threw two innings of scoreless baseball, whiffing the final two batters. Minico, coming off two losses to Jerome in a three-game GBC series last weekend, ended up using four pitchers in the game.

     Wood River’s first home win of the season came after a rocky series with Twin Falls.

     The Hailey baseball team ran into a buzzsaw dropping three league games to league-leading Twin Falls (9-2, 6-0) last Thursday and Saturday.

     Isaacson allowed only four hits in Thursday’s 4-0 loss in Twin Falls, but he issued six free passes and three of those runners scored.

     In that game, Wood River managed only three singles off Bruins pitcher Chandler Greenfield—by Whitehead, Benson and Isaacson. And on Saturday in the home season opener, Twin Falls roughed up Hailey pitchers Tidwell and Schott in 5-1 and 11-0 victories.

     Since season-opening 12-1 and 8-0 losses to Bonneville and Rocky Mountain, Twin Falls has now won nine straight games by a 76-14 margin.

     Wood River hosts Canyon Ridge Thursday, April 10 for a 3 p.m. league doubleheader.

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