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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

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 August 7 - 13, 2002


Legion reaches 40 wins, Reynoso leading the way

Four wins, fourth place at district tourney

Jumping on the broad shoulders of Ryne Reynoso and letting his bat and arm lead the way, the Wood River American Legion baseball team won four games at last week’s Area C "A" tournament and reached 40 wins for the first time in the program’s history.

Ryne Reynoso, Wood River ace pitcher and outfielder, gets ready to hammer another pitch during a Founders Field game this summer. Reynoso batted .600 in the recent district tournament and finished the season with 77 RBI in his 47 games. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Wood River (40-20) battled and fought over four days in the 14-team tournament at Idaho Falls. The Wolverines played to the final inning of the final day and came within a bloop hit and a quick steal from qualifying for the state tournament.

Clean-up hitter Reynoso went 12-for-20 (.600) in six games with six extra-base hits, nine runs and 10 RBI. On the mound he pitched in four of the six games, went 2-2 and threw 18 2/3 of Wood River’s 39 innings—whiffing 22 and allowing eight runs.

Coach Lars Hovey said, "Ryno basically threw us on his shoulders and carried us. He really was THE factor, and he played that role more and more as the season went on."

Only two excruciating losses to nemesis Marsh Falls, by scores of 2-1 and 6-5 with Reynoso on the hill in both, prevented Wood River from making state for only the fourth time in the program’s 28 seasons. Wood River finished fourth, and only the top three teams qualified for state.

Taking only 12 players and playing without its best hitter in Paul Tinker (abroad with a traveling baseball team in Australia), Wood River piled up 40 runs in six games (6.7) and used terrific pitching to allow only 17 runs on defense (2.8).

Hovey said, "The guys never mentioned the absence of Tinker, just as they didn’t mention the absence of Ryno when he was gone a couple of weeks before the tournament. They just went out and battled as hard as I’ve ever seen a team battle."

Following the example of veterans like Reynoso, Kellen Chatterton, Tinker and Matt Conover, Wood River’s young players found their footing in the last six weeks. In that span, Wood River was an incredible 30-8 with a 21-7 record on the road.

"We lost a talented group of seniors who were the core to our high school season," Hovey said. "We thought we could pick up the slack right away, but we started the season slowly—as we realized just how much those seniors had contributed.

"As the season went on we realized we could compete with the top teams. Our younger kids got some huge innings because we stayed with our objective of working toward next year. As a team we accomplished a lot. It would have been a bonus to make state, but we came very close."

Top-seeded Jerome (30-21) won the district tournament for the first time in 20 years with a 12-2 victory over the Cinderella team, the #14-ranked Teton Snow Devils (6-43). Teton upset #3 Buhl, #6 Burley and #2 Bear Lake to make the title game.

#4 Marsh Falls (44-19), winner of five games in six meetings with Wood River, ousted three-time defending champ Buhl (30-11) by a score of 11-8 Friday then nosed out Wood River 6-5 Saturday on Morgan Colonel’s two-out flare single.

It was an all-too-familiar ending to a season for Wood River. Marsh Falls eliminated the Wolverines from last year’s Legion district tournament and a state berth by a single run, and a comparable American Falls squad ousted Wood River from the State 3A high school tournament 12-8 May 25.


Windy first day

Wednesday’s windy first day of action on three Idaho Falls diamonds featured a bunch of close games—six one-run games out of the 10 played. #14 Teton upset #3 Buhl 8-7 and #13 Kimberly lost 4-3 to #4 Marsh Falls.

Wood River played in two nailbiters, just beating #12 Twin Falls 4-3 and losing 2-1 to Marsh Falls.

Twin Falls scratched out three unearned runs against Wolverine starter Steve Hansen and threatened to add to its 3-0 lead in the fourth, but Wood River center fielder Joe Paisley made a great diving catch to strand two runners and keep Hailey close.

Hansen drew a two-out walk in the home fourth and scored on an RBI double by Conover (2 hits), who scampered home on an error. Reynoso’s leadoff homer in the fifth tied the game 3-3. He also entered the game as a reliever and tossed three innings of two-hit, scoreless ball.

Reynoso (3 hits) opened the home seventh with a single. Paisley, the next batter, laid down a sacrifice bunt. When Twin Falls pitcher Matt Sherman overthrew first base, Reynoso raced home with the winner.

Wednesday’s afternoon battle with Marsh Falls with the first of two classic pitching duels between Reynoso and righty Morgan Colonel.

The first four innings were scoreless, although two Marsh Falls double plays rubbed out a pair of bases-loaded Wolverine threats. In the fifth, Conover singled and scored on an Eagles throwing error, 1-0.

In a tightly-played game, the decisive runs were scored in the home fifth. With two outs, Eagles leadoff batter Tony Brulotte singled. Reynoso nearly had Colonel whiffed on a 3-2 pitch, but the umpire saw it otherwise and Colonel walked.

Zach Wagstaff singled Brulotte home for a 1-1 tie and Colonel went to third base. With runners on the corners and clean-up hitter Cameron Nelson at bat, Marsh Falls pulled a quick steal—Wagstaff breaking early for second. Reynoso threw to Conover, who relayed it home. But the throw was a little off target and Colonel slid head first around the tag.

Ball game, in 92 minutes. Wood River out-hit Marsh Falls 9-6 but the Eagles got the runs when needed and Colonel didn’t allow an earned run.


The road back

Wood River resumed its state quest in the loser bracket Thursday, beating host Idaho Falls 16-3 in five innings behind a 14-hit attack. Drew Detwiler (5-4) got the pitching win and Kellen Kinghorn (4-for-4) ripped four RBI singles from the #8 slot.

The Wolverines sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run first, and Idaho Falls committed four of its six errors in that opening frame. Hansen had a big two-run double in the big inning. Reynoso (3 runs) drilled a two-run triple in Hailey’s three-run second.

Other hitters: Detwiler (2 hits, 3 runs), Kellen Chatterton and Joe Paisley (3 runs each), Steve Durkin (2 hits, 2 RBI). Shortstop Durkin had a busy game (6 assists, 1 putout) and Detwiler scattered 10 Rangers hits.

Wood River needed two wins Friday to give itself a chance to make state through the back door—and the Wolverines got them, beating Upper Valley 11-1 and Bear Lake 3-2.

Winning pitcher Tyler Thiede (3-2) and reliever Hansen throttled Upper Valley on three hits. Wood River (12 hits) ended the game in the sixth on the 10-run rule.

Leading hitters were Reynoso (2 hits, 3 runs, 2 RBI) Dylan McIlhenny (3 hits), Chatterton (2 hits, 2 runs) and Durkin (2 hits, 2 runs).

The loser-out afternoon game between Wood River and #2-seeded Bear Lake (30-13) was destined to be a good one. The teams split two games in Hailey July 22, Bear Lake pitcher Chase Hulme beating Wood River 11-2 in the opener.

Hulme pitched another solid game, in the first six frames allowing only a leadoff homer by Conover and a two-out third inning rally that featured a double by Chatterton (2 hits) and RBI single by Reynoso (3 hits, 2 RBI).

But Hansen matched Hulme.

In four clutch innings of work Hansen enticed a bunch of grounders and allowed only three hits and one run. Reynoso relieved him in the fifth and surrendered one unearned run for a 2-2 tie in the home sixth, but Reynoso escaped further damage by starting a bases-loaded double play.

Hansen’s leadoff single in the visitor seventh ignited the game-winning rally. He was at third, with two outs, when Reynoso lifted a major league pop fly that fell between two Bear Lake players and scored Hansen. Then Reynoso (10-5) retired Bear Lake in the home seventh.

One more dandy pitching match-up between Reynoso and Morgan Colonel of Marsh Falls was the highlight of Saturday’s third-place game, which determined the area’s third and final representative to the State "A" Legion meet in Boise.

Marsh Falls had sidetracked Wood River’s state hopes with a 4-3 win in the same game at last year’s district tournament held in Pocatello. This match-up also went to the wire.

Wood River struck first.

In the first inning Detwiler was hit by a pitch, Chatterton singled, Reynoso walked and Durkin (2 hits) delivered a two-run single. Marsh Falls got one back when leadoff hitter Brulotte doubled and scored.

Reynoso flied out with the bases loaded and two outs in the second, but Wood River crept ahead 3-1 in the third on Hansen’s bouncing ball that sent home an unearned run.

Resilient Marsh Falls responded with three straight two-out hits in the third, Cameron Nelson doubling and scoring for a 3-2 game. Another two-out Eagles uprising in the fifth gave Marsh Falls its first lead at 4-3, Tyron Walker belting a two-run double.

In the sixth, Marsh Falls added insurance on Brulotte’s two-out RBI double for a 5-3 lead. With his team down to its final two outs, Reynoso belted a two-run homer in the visitor seventh and tied the game 5-5.

But Marsh Falls was tougher with its backs to the wall. Again, with two outs, they put a runner aboard when Reynoso plunked Walker—only the second free pass issued by Reynoso. Walker stole second and scooted to third on an overthrow.

Up to the plate came Colonel, who had whiffed three times. He finally connected and punched a soft blooper over first base that delivered Walker with the winning run and sent Marsh Falls (44-19) to its fifth win in six tries against Wood River this season.

In the pitching match-up, Reynoso (13 Ks) and Colonel each allowed nine hits. But Colonel worked a little harder, battling out of jams as Wood River left seven in scoring position.


LEGION NOTES—Including the 2002 high school season and Legion campaign, Hovey’s two teams were a combined 63-27 (.700) including 14-game and 13-game winning streaks. It was the most single-season wins (23) in high school history, and the most wins (40) in Legion annals. Wood River was a combined 30-3 at home.

Wood River’s six Legion games against Marsh Falls were decided by a grand total of 12 runs. Marsh Falls won the final five games between the teams….The Hailey squad was 8-6 in 1-run decisions, 9-10 in tournaments…Wood River had 61 hits in six tournament games, but also made 17 errors…

Reynoso (16-7 in two Legion seasons) finished up with 91 innings pitched. He allowed 71 hits, 35 earned runs and whiffed 126….At the plate the regional 3A high school "Player of the Year," banged out 65 hits (11 HR, 7 triples, 12 doubles) in 153 at-bats (.424) with 56 runs scored and 77 RBI….Leading Wolverine hitter Tinker (.435) had 68 hits and 66 RBI for the year. Catcher Kellen Chatterton led the team in total hits, doubles and triples. He was hit by 24 pitches.

The Wolverines (9.3 runs offense, 5.6 defense) scored 10 or more runs in 29 of 60 contests….Their runs scored and runs against were virtually identical to last year’s 30-13-1 team, which was 10-4 in its tournaments....Wood River’s five-year Legion record is 161-73-1 (.685).

Final pitching records were Steve Hansen 9-4, Ryne Reynoso 10-5, Dylan McIlhenny 5-2, Drew Detwiler 5-4, Tyler Thiede 3-2, Kellen Chatterton 2-0, Brady Femling 2-0, Jeff Hunter 2-1, Joe Paisley 2-1 and Tyson Reynoso 0-1….Jerome last won a Legion district tournament title in 1982.



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