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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Founders Field season opens with a bang

Baseball team wins 14-10, 25-1

Founders Field wasn’t exactly a pitcher’s paradise last weekend.

Offensively, Wood River’s bats were on fire (39 runs and 33 hits) in two games on the Hailey diamond.

Steve Hansen, Wood River righthander, hums a pitch during Saturday’s 25-1 win over Mountain Home at Hailey’s Founders Field. Express photo by Willy Cook

Big innings and torrid-hot bats turned into 14-10 and 25-1 non-league wins for the Wood River High School varsity baseball team in its home openers Friday against Preston and Saturday against Mountain Home.

Wood River (11-2) extended its winning streak to six, during which it has outscored foes 83-20. The Wolverines scored eight runs in the first inning against Preston, and a school-record 15 runs in the first frame against Mountain Home Saturday.

The news wasn’t all good, though.

For one thing, Wood River coach Lars Hovey hoped to play closer games and use the non-conference duels to "work on some things," before getting deeper into the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference league schedule.

"But it’s nice to get those big innings and see our bats come alive," said Hovey about a Hailey team that was expected to manufacture a lot of runs and play tight games this season.

Then again, there was a truly frightening injury suffered by Preston senior pitcher Todd Parker Friday.

Righthander Parker was working on his third batter of the game, Wood River #3 hitter Joe Paisley, when Paisley ripped a line drive up the middle. The ball struck Parker in the head, squarely in the forehead and temple.

Hovey, recounting the severity of the impact, said, "It was not a glancing blow." The ball caromed nearly all the way to the Wood River dugout, and Parker collapsed on the mound, unconscious for a few anxious moments.

Parker finally got up and was able to walk off the field. His parents took their son to St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, where a CAT scan revealed internal bleeding. He was life-flighted to a Pocatello hospital.

The standout Preston athlete, headed for Idaho State University to play football, remained in the intensive care unit throughout the weekend. Hovey was informed of his condition by Preston coach Mike Hansen.

Hovey said, "The kid isn’t out of the woods yet, but he’s alert and in good spirits. He still has some bleeding. They anticipate a strong recovery."

One of the most concerned people was Paisley, the Wood River senior who stood alongside Parker on the mound for about 10 minutes after the injury, and then telephoned Parker Friday night at the Pocatello hospital.

The sudden loss of Parker, one of Preston’s top pitchers and hitters who isn’t expected to play again this season, had an immediate impact on the Indian fortunes Friday.

Wood River ended up scoring eight runs on eight hits in the first frame, then added three more runs on four hits in the second to lead 11-2.

Left fielder Kellen Kinghorn clouted a three-run homer—Wood River’s first round-tripper of the season—in the first. And shortstop Steve Durkin added a two-run double.

With 12 errors, six by each side, game was anything but an artistic masterpiece. Preston chipped away and drilled eight of its 10 hits in the final four frames to make it close at 14-10.

The winning pitcher was Tyler Thiede (3-1), who allowed three earned runs and six hits in six innings of work. He walked five and whiffed seven Indians. Ted Dankanyin worked the seventh, yielding four hits.

Six Wolverines enjoyed multi-hit games in the 17-hit attack led by leadoff batter Brady Femling (3 hits, 3 runs), Durkin (2 hits, 3 RBI), Paisley (2 hits), Dylan McIlhenny (3 singles), Steve Hansen (2 hits, 2 runs) and Dankanyin (2 hits, 2 runs).

The hitting continued Saturday.

Wood River batted around twice and sent up 20 batters in an eight-hit, 15-run first inning uprising. Mountain Home didn’t help its cause with five errors, nine for the game. The first inning took 40 minutes to complete.

Although he walked an uncharacteristic seven batters Saturday morning, righty Steve Hansen (3-1) enticed two double-play balls, left the bases loaded once and whiffed his final batter with two runners aboard. McIlhenny made a fine catch in right.

Tyson Reynoso worked two scoreless innings in relief as the lopsided game ended on the run rule after five.

Reynoso (3 runs, 4 RBI) was also a factor at the plate, and first baseman Thiede (5 RBI) delivered a three-run triple in the monstrous inning. Another run producer was #9 hitter and third baseman Dankanyin (3 RBI).

In all, Wood River had 16 hits. Leading the way were Durkin (3 hits, 3 runs), Paisley (2 hits, 4 runs, 2 RBI), McIlhenny (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Kinghorn (2 hits, 4 runs), Femling (2 hits) and catcher Billy Kramer (2 hits).

Over two games, the 1-4 Wood River batters went a combined 22-for-41 (.537) with 24 runs scored.


Kuna, Teton due Saturday

Wood River (11-2, 2-0 SCIC) was scheduled to visit the Filer Wildcats (13-2, 1-1 SCIC) Tuesday for an important Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference twinbill, with both games counting in the league standings.

Filer lost 11-10 and 6-4 at Buhl March 16, and since has won 11 consecutive games including the championship of the Buhl Midseason Classic tournament 12-4 over Buhl April 10. The Wildcats have another league game against Buhl Saturday, April 24.

Next up on the Founders Field diamond is a doubleheader Saturday, April 24 against Kuna at 11 a.m. and Teton of Driggs at 4 p.m. Kuna will face off against Teton about 2 p.m.

Kuna defeated Wood River 6-2 in the opening game of the season March 12 at Kuna. And, of course, Wood River defeated Teton 15-1 in last May’s State 3A title game at Ontario, Ore.




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