By JON MENTZER
For the Express
The Wood River Wranglers American Legion Area C “A” squad spread the joy around against the Twin Falls Cowboys but ran into trouble against the Jerome Cyclones last week.
The Wranglers jumped to 8-3 overall (4-2 in conference) with a four-game split between the Cowboys and the Cyclones.
Coach Brian Nelson’s team opened with a 13-11 road win in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Cowboys June 19 in Twin Falls.
Eathan Shoemaker had an unreal day for Wood River by going 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, two runs and a triple and two walks.
Shoemaker also got the win on the mound as he went six innings while giving up 11 hits and three earned runs. He struck out five Twin Falls batters and walked two, as well.
Wood River’s Huck Sprong, who has established himself as one of the team leaders, also had a strong day by going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double.
The love was spread thick as Wood River peppered 16 hits in the game as 13 different players got an at-bat.
“(Twin Falls) is a good team to get everyone in,” Nelson said. “I got to play some players that I usually don’t play.”
Nelson’s comfortableness in playing as many players as possible prompted him to also throw three pitchers in the game (Shoemaker, David Garcia and Boone Scherer).
Wood River jumped out to a 13-5 lead but squandered that advantage in the seventh inning by allowing six runs by Twin Falls.
Hunter Thompson (2 hits, run), Dylan Mills (1 run, 2 runs, walk), Liam Curd (3 hits, run, RBI) and Chance Appell (triple) gave Wood River a well-rounded game for the roster.
“The team responded well,” Nelson added. “Shoemaker went off, Curd had a good night and Huck’s been a leader and he played well.”
Twin Falls totaled 13 hits in the game.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Wood River got a little help from Mother Nature, as the game was called because of darkness.
The Wranglers prevailed 7-3 by capitalizing on five Twin Falls’ errors and getting a solid victory for Sprong, who went four innings pitched on the mound.
Sprong was on in the second game. He allowed only two hits and three runs while striking out 10 batters and only gave up three walks.
Sprong also went 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs and a triple.
Wood River got help from the meat of its lineup as Thompson went 1-for-3 with a run, RBI and a double, and Shoemaker went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a run and a triple.
Mills (triple), Scherer (run) and Curd (RBI) also contributed in the second-game win.
For Twin Falls, the starting pitcher went only two innings but gave up six hits and six runs.
Jerome piles on the runs
Boone Scherer got the start on the mound for Wood River in the first game of last Thursday’s doubleheader against the Jerome Cyclones at Hailey’s Founders Field.
The first pitch of the game paved the way to a 13-7 loss when Scherer beaned Jerome’s first batter.
Wood River had a hard time getting in the game after that as Jerome jumped to an early lead.
For much of the game, Wood River nipped at the heals of Jerome by staying within one run for early on. Jerome, however, was just too powerful.
“Jerome outplayed us,” Nelson said. “We made some errors and the team didn’t fight as hard as they could. After being down five runs, we began to lay down. Jerome was hot.”
Scherer had a tough outing on the mound. He got the loss by allowing 10 hits and seven runs and the game’s only home run.
Jesus Sandoval, who came on in relief, didn’t fare much better. He lasted only three innings and gave up six hits and six runs.
Sprong had another top-notch game by going 3-for-4 with a double, run and RBI.
Shoemaker also had a solid game by going 3-for-3 with two runs.
Thompson (2 RBI, triple) and Appell (2 runs, double) each had two hits in the game.
Thompson got the loss in the second game of the doubleheader when Wood River lost steam against Jerome in a 13-1 loss.
Thomspon went four innings and gave up 12 hits and 12 runs.
Wood River has two more doubleheaders scheduled. The Wranglers played a doubleheader on Tuesday night, and has another twin-bill on Thursday when Canyon Ridge comes to visit Founders Field.
Thursday’s first game is scheduled at 4 p.m. and the second game at 6 p.m.