The Wood River High School baseball team is feeling some ups and downs as it tries to piece together a full squad in the early parts of the 2021 season.
That was the case as the Wolverines traveled to Caldwell last weekend and split another twinbill series in the process, winning 9-5 in Game 1 but losing 7-3 in Game 2.
“We are still learning and seeing where guys can play,” WRHS head coach Dave Slotten said.
Junior Hunter Thompson led WRHS in Game 1 with five RBIs (3-for-5) at the plate and then struck out five batters while on the mound through 3 1/3 innings.
His performance on the mound was good enough for his second victory of the season, and with his five strikeouts, Thompson leads the team with 13 strikeouts as a pitcher.
At the plate, Thompson drove in runs on a single in the first inning, a double in the third and a double in the fourth.
Sophomore Eric Parris (3 2/3 innings) got his second save of the season in relief.
Despite allowing the Caldwell Cougars (1-5) to score four runs in the third inning, Wood River (2-2) returned in the fourth to score five of its own to take control of the game.
Fresh off tending goal for the Sun Valley Youth Hockey high school team, sophomore Clayton Elsbree (1-for-4) drove in a run in the fourth that started the five-run inning.
Another single from senior Boone Scherer (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI) loaded the bases and set up Thompson’s double that drove in three.
“[Hunter] threw well and had timely hits,” Slotten said. “He played well all in all.”
Caldwell’s Cole Harvey took the loss for the Cougars. Harvey went five full innings, but surrendered seven hits and seven runs while striking out five.
Harvey went 2-for-4 at the plate and Zaylor Brueman went 2-for-3 for Caldwell.
Game 1 presented a fine afternoon at the plate for WRHS. In all, there were five hitters to drive in at least one RBI.
Senior Ethan Shoemaker went 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI, and sophomore Dylan Mills went 0-for-2 but with one RBI.
In Game 2, WRHS again hit the ball well, but couldn’t punch in runs when it was needed.
“In the second game, we hit the ball hard, but just right where [the defense] was,” Slotten said.
The Cougars scored five runs in the fifth inning to take control of this game.
WRHS couldn’t overcome Caldwell freshman pitcher Charlie Hunsicker, who went 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts on 84 pitches.
Hunsicker also allowed six hits and three runs. Sophomore Nolan Moss threw 1 1/3 inning in relief.
Scherer took the loss for WRHS. The righty allowed five hits and seven runs over 4 1/3 innings of play. He struck out one batter.
The big hitter for WRHS in Game 2 was Shoemaker, who went 2-for-4.
A big test this weekend
The Wolverines turn their attention to the Middleton High School ICCU Classic this weekend.
“It’ll definitely be the best competition we’ve seen this season, so hopefully we’ll improve,” Slotten said.
WRHS was scheduled to play Columbia High School on Thursday and Homedale High School at 4:30 p.m. today, March 26.
On Saturday, WRHS play to Timberline, with first pitch at 3 p.m.