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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of July 31 - August 6, 2002


Legion heads into district baseball tourney

Five wins in six games last week

Wood River’s American Legion baseball team (36-18, 19-15 away) is entering this week’s Area C "A" tournament in Idaho Falls with as good a shot as any of the 14 teams.

The Wolverines have the tournament’s dominant pitcher in righthander Ryne Reynoso. They’ve got the hottest hitter in catcher Kellen Chatterton. They’re hitting well as a team, unafraid of falling behind.

Wood River’s youth movement in 2002 Legion baseball has been exemplified by steady contributors like first-year pitcher Tyler Thiede. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Playing in Idaho Falls won’t be easy. Wood River is short in team depth, especially with contact hitter Paul Tinker in Australia for a July 30-Aug. 13 baseball trip. And coach Lars Hovey is worried about his pitching.

What coach isn’t, especially in August when arms are tired and football is looming on the horizon? But Wood River’s main selling point in shooting for one of three state tournament berths is a big intangible:

Wood River’s doesn’t beat itself.

In the past 10 days the fifth-seeded Wolverines have beaten #3 Buhl and #2 Bear Lake by one run, at home, because the visitors couldn’t catch the ball and Wood River was able to dig itself out of deep holes.

Hovey’s club wrapped up its regular season with five wins in six games—sweeping Buhl at home 8-7 and 11-0; splitting at Rexburg against Upper Valley; and winning at home over Blackfoot 17-7 and 14-10.

Reynoso pitched in three of the six games as Hovey tuned up his ace for a workhorse role in the district meet.

Matt Conover, Wood River second baseman, stretches for a throw during Wednesday’s nightcap againstg Buhl. Umpire Bill Shohoney makes the call. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River opens against #12 Twin Falls (16-30) today, Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Taupthaus Park. A victory will likely send Wood River up against its chief nemesis this season, #4 Marsh Falls, at 3 p.m. at Hillcrest High School.

The double elimination district tourney wraps up Saturday, Aug. 3. Top seed is Jerome (27-21). The Tigers, Bear Lake and Buhl ended up with identical 20-6 league records. Wood River finished at 18-8.


Solid final week

Wood River began its final week with an 8-7 and 11-10 doubleheader sweep over Buhl (29-7, 20-6 league) Wednesday at Founders Field.

Reynoso wasn’t sharp in winning the league opener. He threw 143 pitches, issued eight free passes and allowed eight hits including Rob Walker’s three-run triple giving Buhl a 6-2 lead in the fourth frame.

But Wood River (11 hits) batted around in the home fifth and tied the game 6-6 off Buhl lefthander Josh Anderson. Chatterton’s leadoff double started the rally. Tinker (4-for-4) stroked an RBI single, Joe Paisley ripped a two-run double and Steve Durkin lifted a sacrifice fly.

After Buhl pushed home its last run in the sixth for a 7-6 lead, Chatterton got it going again with a leadoff triple and he scored on Reynoso’s bouncing ball.

Catcher Kellen Chatterton has been Wood River’s hottest hitter down the stretch. Express photo by David N. Seelig

In the seventh, a one-out double by Kellen Kinghorn installed the winning run at second. Kinghorn made an alert base-running play when he advanced to third on Chatterton’s deep fly out to center. Then Kinghorn scampered home with the winner on an infield error, Buhl’s third.

Buhl gave up three unearned runs and made three major mistakes on the basepaths—Chatterton picking off one runner and throwing out another, and Reynoso picking off a runner. Wood River left 11 runners on base.

In the non-league nightcap, Wood River squandered an 8-2 lead but pushed across two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth—Matt Conover (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI) hitting home the eventual winner. Matt Job (3-for-3, double) drove home two runs and Dylan McIlhenny (5-2) earned the pitching win in relief of Tyler Thiede.

Thursday at Rexburg, Wood River won the league opener 15-5 over Upper Valley in six innings behind the pitching of righty Steve Hansen (9-4). Leading hitters were Chatterton (4 hits, double, triple), Reynoso (4 hits, HR) and Paisley (2 hits).

Upper Valley then ended Wood River’s four-game win streak 15-5.

Chatterton (3 hits, 5 RBI) continued his hot hitting Saturday in the 17-7 home league triumph against fumble-fingered Blackfoot (5 errors, allowing 7 unearned runs). He batted twice in Wood River’s eight-run third that erased a 6-1 deficit. The durable catcher ripped an RBI triple and two-run double as 12 batters came up.

Conover (2 runs, 2 RBI) added three of Wood River’s 12 hits. Winning pitcher Drew Detwiler (4-4) and Paisley scored three runs apiece. Kellen Kinghorn added a two-run single and Tyler Thiede (3 runs) chipped in a two-run single.

Wood River won the nightcap 14-10, completing a very successful 17-3 season on Founders Field. The winning pitcher was Chatterton (2-0), second of three Wolverine pitchers. Kinghorn (2-for-2, 3 RBI) and Matt Job (3 hits, 3 RBI) were top hitters.

LEGION NOTES—What a difference a month makes! On June 24 Wood River was 10-12 overall, 2-10 away and 3-5 league. Since Hovey’s team is 26-6 with a 17-5 road record and 15-3 league log….The only downside is Wood River’s 5-8 record in three out-of-town tourneys.

Wood River has a 7-7 record against the four higher-ranked teams, including 3-1 against top-ranked Jerome and 1-3 against Marsh Falls….The only win over Marsh Falls was a 6-5 eight-inning victory for Reynoso back on June 9 in Hailey….The Hailey squad is 6-4 in one-run decisions, and has enjoyed winning streaks of 5, 13 and 4 games.

The Wolverines (9.6 runs offense, 5.9 defense) have scored 10 or more runs in 27 of 54 contests….Since the Marsh Falls tourney Wood River’s bats have been blazing. Hailey has scored 11.2 runs per game and gone 21-4….Wood River’s five-year Legion record is 157-71-1 (.685).

Brady Femling and Tyson Reynoso won’t be on the team’s district roster….Pitching records are Steve Hansen 9-4, Ryne Reynoso 8-3, Dylan McIlhenny 5-2, Drew Detwiler 4-4, Tyler Thiede 2-2, Kellen Chatterton 2-0, Brady Femling 2-0 and Joe Paisley 2-1.

Three-time defending champion Buhl (10 titles), Pocatello (seven) and Marsh Valley (four) have dominated the Area C tournament in 24 seasons since 1978. Wood River finished second in 1978, 1993-94 and 2000….The last team other than Buhl or Marsh Valley to win the district tournament: Blackfoot in 1993.

Paul Tinker is on the 28-player American Eagles baseball team that left Tuesday from Los Angeles for Australia. Consisting mainly of California players ages 15-21, the squad is broken into a "Red" squad and "Blue" squad. Scheduled are two tournaments and sightseeing.



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