Wood River High School baseball rallied late to walk off Mountain Home for the second time in less than a week on Wednesday—this time ending the Tigers’ season at Founders Field in Hailey.
Junior third baseman Luke Hebert chased a ground ball into right field to score two runs with one out in the final inning to win it for the Wolverines, 12-11. The RBIs put Wood River two wins away from the Great Basin 7 conference’s second bid to the state tournament. The four-seed Wolverines head to No. 2 Minico after press time on Thursday. The winner of that game plays the loser of the conference championship game between No. 1 Twin Falls and No. 3 Burley, which took place Thursday evening in Twin.
Hebert’s hit capped a three-run seventh, making up for middle-inning lapse that saw the team squander a fast start and hand the Tigers a 11-9 lead heading into the home team’s last at bat. There, senior Finn Naghsh (3-3, 1 walk, 2 RBI, 3 runs) led off the inning with a line-drive double into left field off of Mountain Home standout Tyler Peterson. Batting next, senior catcher Clayton Elsbree (1-3, 1 walk, 2 RBI, 2 runs) managed to turn a full count into a no-out walk. With the plate set, senior Brock Burrell (2-4, 4 RBI) drove in Naghsh to tie the game, moving Elsbree to second. An Eric Parris sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position, and forced Peterson to intentionally walk Gabe Nilsen to keep the double play in order. Hebert (3-4, 3 RBIs) took it from there.
The game—a replay of Wood River’s 6-5 walk-off win on May 5—bounces the Tigers from the district tournament. Wood River won three of four games against Mountain Home, all played in Hailey, and all in the past two weeks.
This one seemed on track to end without the drama of last week’s matchup. Wood River jumped out to an early 8-1 lead through two innings keyed by the top of the order. Leading off, senior Rabbit Buxton (2-4, 2 runs) scored twice in the first two innings. Batting second, junior Dawson Speth (3-4, 3 runs, 1 RBI) totaled six bases: a triple, a double and a single.
But Mountain Home charged back. Led by Zander Friberg (5-5, 1 RBI, 3 runs) Petersen (3-3, 2 walks) and Alex Lopez (3-4, 3 RBIs), the Tigers flipped the score. Down 9-3 through four innings, the visitors strung together eight unanswered runs to put themselves on the brink of advancing.
In the end, Wolverines reliever Gabe Nilsen did enough to hold the Tigers, earning the win in three innings of work. Nilsen took the ball from starter Jacob Uhrig, who turned the Mountain Home lineup over multiple times over four innings.
“It was a wild game and the boys competed, even after having a tough inning and losing the lead,” Coach Brad Thompson said. “Jacob Uhrig threw great for us. Finn Naghsh, Dawson Speth and Luke Hebert had great days at the plate.”
Next up, Minico in another elimination game. The two sides split their season series, a doubleheader in Minico on April 20.
“We are ready to come playing hard against Minico and we will focus on continuing to play fundamental baseball,” Thompson said. “If we don’t beat ourselves, we can play and win against anyone out there.” ￼
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