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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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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 23 - 29, 2003


The 2003 Nelson 11-12 runner-up team, Wood River South. Front, from left, Gus Engelhardt, Spencer Fullmer, Greg Wakefield and Tracy Bailet. Middle, from left, Sean Bunce, Pat Gove, Travis Job, Michale Brunker, Bryan Tidwell, Shane Carden, Bryan Bray and Hayden Waller. Back, from left, coach Ron Stewart, head coach Mike Brunker and coach Kurt Tidwell. Courtesy photo

Nationals keep
Nelson crown

WR South is second in Little League

Wood River South, the best defensive team in the 14-team "Majors", was one swing away from winning last weekend’s 32nd annual Ray Nelson Invitational Little League baseball tournament in Hailey.

Unfortunately for head coach Mike Brunker’s determined kids from Hailey, that swing belonged to clean-up hitter Ryan Petersen of the Twin Falls Nationals. And that one swing gave Twin Falls its second consecutive Ray Nelson "Major" title Saturday.

Petersen belted a two-out, three-run homer in the third inning that was all Twin Falls needed to beat Wood River South 3-1 in the "if necessary" championship game at Nelson Field. Earlier, Twin Falls had beaten WR South by an identical 3-1 score.

It was a great comeback for Twin Falls Nationals (7-1 over two days). The champs dropped their first game 5-2 to Nampa Americans Friday—and then won seven straight, allowing just five runs in their last four games.

Pitching the maximum 18 innings in Twin Falls’ six games Saturday was shortstop Michael Williams, who was nearly unstoppable at the plate as the leadoff hitter. Williams was the winning pitcher in the finale with three innings of scoreless work.

Gus Engelhardt, South catcher, gets ready to apply the tag. Express photo by David N. Seelig

The Nationals’ batting hero was Petersen, the son of Ken Petersen, one of Twin Falls’ best softball players. Besides his clutch homer in the finale, left fielder Petersen stroked a two-run triple in the first inning of the first title game won by Twin Falls 3-1.

Coming oh-so-close to Hailey’s first Nelson title since WR East did it 12-5 over Salmon in 2000, Wood River South’s group of talented 11-12 year olds had a lot to boast about.

Brunker’s crew went 4-2 and allowed only 12 runs in six games with tough pitching from key players like Shane Carden, Hayden Waller and Sean Bunce. They won their all-important first game, a nailbiter, then ripped off three huge victories.

In Friday’s opener, Carden launched a two-run homer and Travis Job nailed a solo shot as WR South nipped Boise Cal Ripken 4-2.

Everybody scored in Friday’s 11-hit, 13-2 win over Boise Gators. Top hitters were Job (triple, double, 2 runs), Michale Brunker (2 hits, 2-run HR), Waller (double), Bryan Tidwell (3 runs), Bryan Bray (2-run HR) and Greg Wakefield (2 hits).

Waller’s two-out, three-run homer in the first sparked WR South to an 8-1 triumph over Rupert. Then, in Saturday’s semi-final, singles by Bunce, Brunker and Spencer Fullmer highlighted a four-run fifth that put WR South over Meridian Velocity 6-1.

Catcher Gus Engelhardt had a good tournament for WR South. Other players were Pat Gove and Tracy Bailet.

Third place went to Meridian Velocity (3-2) and fourth to Nampa Nationals (3-2). Consolation winner was Boise Gators 8-0 over Twin Falls Americans. The Sportsmanship Award was given to Heyburn-Paul.

WR North, made up of mostly 11-year-olds and coached by Pancho Cortez, finished 1-2 at the Nelson Invitational. WR North lost to Buhl 6-5, beat Heyburn-Paul 21-0 and lost 18-2 to the Nampa Nationals.

Michale Brunker goes hard into second base in Saturday’s Ray Nelson title game against the Twin Falls Nationals. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Down in the ranks, the up-and-comers from Rupert dethroned last year’s "Minor" 9-10 champion Twin Falls Pioneers 8-1 in Saturday’s final. Rupert emerged unbeaten at 4-0, scoring 36 runs and allowing only 11.

Behind runner-up Twin Falls Pioneers (4-2) were Meridian Storm (2-2) and Burley (2-2). Wood River’s 9-10s coached by Tracey Farrow went 1-2—beating Twin Falls Cowboys 13-4 before losing to Meridian 7-1 and Twin Falls Pioneers 15-0.

Consolation winner in the "Minor" category was Boise Cal Ripken 11-7 over Twin Falls Cowboys. The Sportsmanship Award was presented to the Twin Falls Cowboys.

The kids played 45 games over two days to the credit of the volunteer crew headed by tournament director Ken Uhrig. Games were played Friday and Saturday primarily on three diamonds at Nelson Field in Hailey, but also at Lions Park and on the high school softball field in Hailey.

The tournament is named for Ray Nelson, a baseball booster from Hailey who bequeathed a love of the game to family members and friends after he passed away in 1970.

Next: Wood River South goes to the Twin Falls tourney this weekend.



Ray Nelson Invitational Little League tournament results

July 18-19, 2003 headquartered at Nelson Field in Hailey, the 32nd annual Little League baseball tournament held in memory of Hailey’s Ray Nelson.


(1) Twin Falls Nationals 7-1 51 25
(2) Wood River South 4-2 33 12
(3) Meridian Velocity 3-2 40 19
(4) Nampa Nationals 3-2 43 26
Boise Gators 3-2 31 36
Rupert 2-2 28 20
Nampa Americans 2-2 24 30
Buhl 2-2 15 34
Wood River North 1-2 28 24
Boise Cal Ripken 1-2 26 15
Meridian Reds 1-2 30 23
Twin Falls Americans 1-3 11 33
Burley 0-3 5 33
Heyburn-Paul 0-3 6 41

Rupert 16, Twin Falls Americans 0
Boise Gators 10, Burley 2
Wood River South 4, Boise Cal Ripken 2
Buhl 6, Wood River North 5
Meridian Velocity 9, Heyburn-Paul 1
Nampa Americans 8, Meridian Reds 6
Rupert 8, Nampa Nationals 7
Wood River South 13, Boise Gators 2
Meridian Velocity 12, Buhl 1
Nampa Americans 5, Twin Falls Nationals 2
Wood River South 8, Rupert 1
Meridian Velocity 17, Nampa Americans 9
Wood River South 6, Meridian Velocity 1

Boise Cal Ripken 16, Burley 0
Wood River North 21, Heyburn-Paul 0
Buhl 4, Twin Falls Americans 0
Twin Falls Nationals 11, Boise Cal Ripken 8
Nampa Nationals 18, Wood River North 2
Meridian Reds 18, Boise Gators 4
Twin Falls Nationals 17, Buhl 4
Nampa Nationals 11, Meridian Reds 6
Twin Falls Nationals 5, Rupert 3
Nampa Nationals 5, Nampa Americans 2
Twin Falls Nationals 8, Nampa Nationals 2
Twin Falls Nationals 2, Meridian Velocity 1

Twin Falls Nationals 3, Wood River South 1
Twin Falls Nationals 3, Wood River South 1

Twin Falls Americans 11, Heyburn-Paul 5
Boise Gators 7, Burley 3

Boise Gators 8, Twin Falls Americans 0



(1) Rupert 4-0 36 11
(2) Twin Falls Pioneers 4-2 54 25
Meridian Storm 2-2 28 27
Burley 2-2 35 36Wood River 1-2 14 26
Buhl 1-2 24 35
Boise Cal Ripken 1-2 22 31
Twin Falls Cowboys 0-3 17 39

Meridian Storm 9, Buhl 4
Wood River 13, Twin Falls Cowboys 4
Burley 13, Boise Cal Ripken 7
Rupert 6, Twin Falls Pioneers 3
Meridian Storm 7, Wood River 1
Rupert 10, Burley 0
Rupert 12, Meridian Storm 7

Buhl 15, Twin Falls Cowboys 6
Twin Falls Pioneers 11, Boise Cal Ripken 4
Burley 20, Buhl 5
Twin Falls Pioneers 15, Wood River 0
Twin Falls Pioneers 14, Burley 2
Twin Falls Pioneers 10, Meridian Storm 5

Rupert 8, Twin Falls Pioneers 1

Boise Cal Ripken 11, Twin Falls Cowboys 7

Twin Falls Cowboys



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