For the week of April 7, 1999  thru April 13, 1999  

Pitcher’s duel goes Wood River’s way

Wolverines trim Kimberly 6-3 in eight innings

Toughing it out and winning a wild pitcher’s duel, junior righthander Matt Zachary gave the Wood River High School baseball team another strong outing Saturday—sparking the Wolverines to a league doubleheader sweep at Kimberly.

Zachary (3-1, 2.59 ERA, 24 Ks) won a classic head-to-head battle with Kimberly senior Dakota Kafader when Wood River completed a comeback from a 2-0 deficit with 3 runs in the eighth inning. Wood River prevailed 6-3.

At his best when the situation was dire, Zachary stranded six Bulldogs in scoring position and finished with a 6-hitter. He whiffed a season-high 10 batters including Kimberly’s potential tying run Billy Humphries on three pitches for the final out.

Kafader (8 hits, 9 strikeouts) was nearly as good. But Kimberly committed three critical errors in the final three frames allowing opportunistic Wood River to score the final 4 runs.

The Wolverines (16 hits) won the five-inning nightcap 25-9 over Kimberly and improved their season log to 7-2 (2-0 league) entering Tuesday’s big doubleheader at Buhl.

Wild extra-inning affair

Playing its first year of high school baseball, Kimberly (5-5, 2-2) nearly captured its third straight 1-run home league victory following a 7-6 win over Wendell and 10-9 triumph over Filer. Buhl nipped Kimberly 5-3 in another game.

But Zachary wouldn’t allow it to happen, and Wood River got some timely breaks.

Two nice running catches by leftfielder Max Paisley and rightfielder Jesse Sheue kept Kimberly off the board during the first three scoreless frames. Kimberly led 2-0 in the fourth with a pair of unearned runs plated on a scorching Humphries two-out single.

In the fifth, second baseman Cory Goicoechea (2 hits) led off with a single and scored on a wild pitch. Then, in the sixth, Zachary drilled a two-out double to the left field gap. Pinch runner Jake Upham scored the equalizer on a bloop RBI single by catcher Kenny Nelson.

Sheue, who had walked, ended up on third on Nelson’s single. Sheue’s aggressive baserunning enticed Bulldog pitcher Kafader to make a throwing error on a pick-off attempt, and Sheue scored easily for a 3-2 Wolverine lead.

Kimberly, trailing by a run, was down to its final three outs in the home seventh.

That’s when leadoff batter Humphries, the Kimberly catcher, deposited a 2-2 Zachary fastball over the left field fence for a 3-3 tie. Shortstop Travis Lammers blooped a single to center and second baseman Jordan Williams laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt.

Zachary, fielding the well-placed bunt but having little margin for error, fired a missile that first baseman Jake Nilsen just couldn’t handle. The ball flew past Nilsen, but he chased it down and quickly relayed it home to catcher Nelson.

Thinking he could score the winning run on the error, Lammers found himself a dead duck between third and home. Nelson ran him down for the first out. But Williams, the bunter, had followed the play and ended up at third base.

It put the winning run 90 feet away, with Bulldog clean-up hitter Jordan Dille up. Instead of walking the bases full and setting up a force play, coach Lars Hovey pulled the infield in and elected to pitch to Dille. Zachary struck him out swinging and got Scott Schneider to fly to Sheue.

With new life Wood River wasted no time in the eighth.

Third baseman Brandon Bush singled to left and Zachary reached on an error. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position and Sheue delivered an RBI single for the eventual winning run.

A Kimberly throwing error on Nelson’s dandy bunt, and Goicoechea’s ground out, drove home 2 insurance runs.

Kimberly put runners at the corners with two gone in the home eighth, and Humphries had one more chance at Zachary. This time Zachary retired Humphries on three pitches, the last two his best breaking balls of the extra-inning game.

Righthander Sheue (3-1, 4.20 ERA, 23 Ks) earned the nightcap victory as Wood River tallied a season-high 25 runs.

Andrew Beck (2 hits) had 4 RBIs including a 2-run double. Tyler Nice (2 hits) drove home 4 runs, and Nelson had 3 RBI.

Leadoff hitter Ryan Stavros had 3 hits and scored 3 runs. Goicoechea chipped in 3 hits and tallied 5 runs. Upham had a 2-run double, Paisley scored 4 runs, Matt Johnson and Bush 3 runs each, and Josh Perron 2 runs. James Cordes delivered two sacrifice flies.


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