The Wood River American Legion Wranglers are making a strong case for being one of two Area C “A” West Division teams to qualify for the American Legion State “A” tournament July 27-31 in Pocatello.
Coached by Andy Ruiz and Jordan Moeller, the Wranglers pounded 36 hits and scored 48 runs Monday in their 27-4 and 21-6 doubleheader sweep over the Canyon Ridge Riverhawks, in Twin Falls. The run rule ended each game after five of the seven scheduled frames.
Wood River (8-0, outscoring opponents 128-16) continued to get effective starting pitching and relentless offense, with only four Area C West Division “A” games remaining on the Wrangler schedule prior to the State “A” tournament.
Right-hander Hunter Thompson (3-0) earned the 27-4 first-game victory Monday, relieved by Liam Curd, and righty Boone Scherer (2-0) collected the second game win, relieved by Huck Sprong.
Staked to a 13-0 lead, Thompson (2 innings, 30 pitches, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 4 strikeouts) left the first game with a cramp in the third inning. He had just legged out an inside-the-park homer—Wood River’s first round-tripper—in the 11-run Wrangler third.
Thompson (2 hits, 3 runs) had sparked the Wranglers with a two-out triple in the first inning, followed by a double by shortstop Scherer (3 hits, 4 runs). Third baseman Ethan Shoemaker (3 hits, 3 runs, 4 RBI) also had a big bat.
The Wranglers sent 14 batters to the plate and capitalized on seven Canyon Ridge errors in the 11-run third-inning outburst. In the fifth, Wood River sent up 17 batters in a 13-run explosion.
The young Riverhawks finished the game with 11 errors, plus seven passed balls and two wild pitches. Their three hurlers tossed 179 pitches in just five frames, middle reliever Christian Romero throwing 104 of them. Lefty starter Armando Carlson was the most effective of the three.
Other Wolverine contributors at the plate were Blake Nelson (2 hits, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Chance Appell (triple, double, 2 RBI), David Garcia (2-run double), Jesus Sandoval (4 runs) and Dylan Mills (3 runs).
The Wranglers scored runs in each of their 10 at-bats Monday and out-hit the Riverhawks 20-5 in the second game. Scherer (3 innings, 51 pitches, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts) and Sprong (2 innings, 3 hits) kept Canyon Ridge in check.
Scherer (3 hits, triple, 4 RBI) and Thompson (double, 2 triples, 3 runs, 4 RBI) again led the Wranglers from the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the order.
Rounding out the potent batting order were Sprong (3 hits, double, triple, 4 runs, 3 RBI), Nelson (2 hits, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Shoemaker (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Mills (2 hits, double, 2 RBI), Appell (2 hits, 3 runs) and Abel Rojas (3 runs).
Canyon Ridge right-handed pitcher Gage Summerfield threw all five innings for the home squad, walking just one and yielding just 8 earned runs in the 21-6 nightcap setback.
Next for the Wranglers:
Saturday, July 18 at Twin Falls A Cowboys at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.; and Monday, July 20 at Wendell High 5/7.
Out of the 23-team southern Idaho “A” classification, two from the West Division plus three from the East Division (Idaho Falls) and three from the Central (Pocatello) will qualify for the eight-team state meet.