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Wood River second baseman and leadoff hitter Blake Nelson (left) dives for home plate trying in vain to avoid a tag by Buhl Tribe pitcher Heber Jenkins after a passed ball put the play in motion. Action took place at Hailey’s Founders Field June 10 during Wood River’s season-opening 8-0 American Legion Area C “A” West Division baseball victory over Buhl. Looking on are Wood River’s Huck Sprong (right, holding the bat) and umpire Bill Shohoney.

Wood River American Legion Wrangler baseball players have entered the homestretch of their regular-season slate.

Rained out Monday, the Wranglers (13-10) rescheduled their Area C “A” inter-divisional doubleheader against Central Division Pocatello Rebels for Tuesday at Hailey’s Founders Field.

A previously scheduled single game against a visiting team from Belgrade, Mt. today, Wednesday has been canceled.

Wood River travels to eastern Idaho for five inter-divisional games this weekend and next Monday. The Wranglers visit the Area C East Division Idaho Falls on Friday, July 12 for two games starting at 4 p.m., and meet the Idaho Falls Knights at Hillcrest High on Saturday at 12 noon.

Scheduled for Monday is a single game against the Central Division Blackfoot Broncos, in Blackfoot at 4 p.m.

Leading Wrangler hitters after 23 games include:

Blake Nelson .480 batting average, 22 hits, 26 runs, 12 walks, 9 RBI; Ethan Shoemaker .414 batting, .621 slugging, 24 hits, 20 runs, 20 walks, 16 RBI, 6 HBP;

Hunter Thompson .411 batting, 23 hits, 19 RBI, 14 runs, 13 walks, .554 slugging; Huck Sprong .478 batting, .716 slugging, 32 hits, 17 RBI, 24 runs, 7 HBP; and Boone Scherer .365 batting, 19 hits, 16 RBI.


Wranglers 1-4 at Firecracker

The Wranglers won one of their five games during the 24-team Boise Firecracker holiday tournament Thursday through Sunday, July 4-7.

Teams from Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho competed.

Placing first with an undefeated 6-0 record was Spanish Springs from Sparks, Nev. with a 4-3 upset win over the No. 1 Kennewick (Wash.) Phantoms. Kennewick had outscored foes 66-5 in five wins entering Sunday’s finale.

Third place went to Boys of Summer (6-0) from Sammamish, Wash. by a 6-5 score over Seattle (Wash.) Wave 17U (5-1). In seventh place were the Walla Walla (Wash.) Bruins (5-1) by a 10-0 score over Jerome (3-3).

Wood River’s best day was on Independence Day itself.

Thursday in their Firecracker debut, the Wranglers rallied from an 8-2 deficit but lost 10-7 to Boise Gems (2-3). Later Thursday, Wood River surged in the last three frames and beat Boise Seminoles (1-4) by an 11-1 score.

Ethan Shoemaker (6 innings, 76 pitches, 6 hits, 0 earned runs, 3 strikeouts, 1 BB) was the winning pitcher against the Seminoles. He improved his mound mark to 3-0.

While his teammates drew 11 walks and drilled eight hits, Shoemaker was cool, calm and efficient on the hill.

 Top Wrangler hitters in the win were Liam Curd 3-for-3 (2 runs), Abel Rojas (2 hits, 2 runs), Chance Appell (3 BB, 3 runs), Dylan Mills (2 RBI), Huck Sprong 2-for-2 and Blake Nelson (2 runs, 1 hit, 1 RBI).

 On Friday, Wood River fell 16-6 to the Idaho Falls Knights (3-2) and 14-3 to Walla Walla Bruins. It wasn’t the best day for the Wrangler pitchers, who issued 21 walks and allowed 20 hits in 11 innings of work.

Saturday night, Boise’s Dalton Baseball Academy erased an 8-5 deficit with a six-run fifth and beat Wood River 11-8. Dalton (2-3) sent 11 batters to the plate in its big inning with six singles and two walks.

Wood River built its lead with a four-run third and three-run fourth.

Rojas (2 hits, 2 runs) started the four-run outburst with a double, Dylan Mills singled and Hunter Thompson (2 hits) laced a three-run double. In the three-run fourth after a single by Blake Nelson (2 hits, 2 runs), Sprong (3 RBI) delivered a two-run single for an 8-3 cushion.

Email the writer: sports@mtexpress.com

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