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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Legion wins last two at Donnelley tourney

Wood River beats Jerome 4-3, places fifth

Their adventure started with a minor car accident Thursday and finished Sunday with a dramatic come-from-behind rally in Twin Falls.

Wood River American Legion baseball players battled a certain amount of adversity last weekend during the Donnelley Sports/Father’s Day Classic wood bat tournament.

But they hung in there and ended up winning their final two games of the four-day, four-game tournament—clinching fifth place with a 4-3 victory over Jerome Sunday.

Derek Abbott’s gapper scored Jonathan Dittmer with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh and final inning for Wood River, which got a very solid pitching performance by Huston Brashears.

Wood River coach Eli Lloyd said, "Huston pitched great. He had great poise and laid all the groundwork for our win."

At the eight-team tourney, Wood River lost 3-2 in eight innings to eventual champion Riverton (Utah) Friday, then beat Idaho Falls 6-2 Saturday and Jerome 4-3 Sunday.

First place went to Riverton (4-0 record, 36-6 runs-against) by an 11-1 score over Marsh Falls. Bear Lake captured third place 7-6 over Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls earned seventh place 12-5 over Centennial.

Judging by its excellent defense and pitching, Wood River might have made the championship game if not for a four-car pile-up on Blue Lakes Boulevard just prior to Thursday’s opening contest against Bear Lake. Wood River ended up forfeiting the game.

Nobody was seriously hurt. Coach Eli Lloyd and Ted Dankanyin were treated and released from the Twin Falls hospital after the mishap.

Friday, Wood River ace Steve Hansen threw seven solid innings against Riverton, which dominated in its other three tournament games 9-1, 13-2 and 11-1. Hansen yielded only four hits and benefited from outstanding middle infield defense (four double plays).

But Wood River (7 errors) got sloppy making a couple of miscues in the eighth inning with Kenny Cardona (1-1) pitching and Riverton ended up scoring the winning run.

Brady Femling singled and scored in the first for Wood River (7 hits), and Tyler Thiede ripped a one-out double and scored in the sixth for Hailey.

Righty Tyler Thiede (3 BB, 5K) picked up Wood River Saturday by pitching a complete-game four-hitter in the 6-2 win over Idaho Falls. Lloyd said, "Tyler threw a lot of ground balls. He was getting ahead and making their guys swing the bat. He pitched great for us."

Catcher Billy Kramer contributed an RBI hit in the first frame. Leading 3-2, Wood River tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth. Dittmer belted a two-run single and Abbott (2 hits) added an RBI hit.

Against Jerome Sunday, righthander Brashears was in cruise control, retiring nine of the first 10 Tigers he faced. He ended up pitching five-and-two-thirds but got into trouble in the sixth. Jerome grabbed a 3-2 lead before reliever Dankanyin (1-0) stopped the rally.

In the seventh, Ben Molyneux opened with a double and Dittmer walked. With one out, Morgan Uhrig delivered an RBI single for a 3-3 game. With Dimmer on second, Abbott found the gap for the winner.


Coming games

Wood River (7-5 overall, 5-3 league) opened an eight-game Area C "A" homestand Tuesday, June 22 with a doubleheader against Jerome at Founders Field. "The guys have been playing well on the road, but it’s nice to play at home," coach Lloyd said.

Next up in the crucial league tests for Wood River:

Hillcrest of Idaho Falls visits Hailey Saturday, June 26 for a 1 p.m. twinbill at Founders Field, then Blackfoot arrives Monday, June 28 at 4 p.m. for two games. Upper Valley comes to Founders Tuesday, June 29 at 1 p.m. for a league doubleheader.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.