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Little League gearing up for 2012 season
Riverton Little League player Alex Phifer fired the baseball to first base Tuesday night during the Wilson Test at Ron Saban Baseball Complex. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Little League gearing up for 2012 season

Apr 13, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The pieces are coming together for another Riverton Little League baseball season.

A big step came Monday and Tuesday nights, when the players took part in the annual Wilson Test at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex .

The first night was for 9-10-year-olds, and 49 players participated in the drills. The second night was for 11- 12-year-olds, when 54 players took part in running, throwing and hitting drills in front of coaches.

"We are very excited to start the season," Riverton Little League president Jason Muehler said.

Players can still sign up for baseball this summer. The cost is $40 for the first player in the family and $35 for the second player in the family.

"There seems to be more 11-year-olds this year than 12-year-olds," Muehler said. "I believe the 9-10-year-old division is pretty even."

Little League sign up is at the R Recreation office. The office is located in the Pro Tech building at Central Wyoming College.

Teams

Muehler is expecting to have five teams in the Major League Division (11-12-year-olds).

The teams in the past have been the Rockies, A's, Yankees, Cardinals and the Cubs.

The teams in the Minor League have been the Mets, Braves, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers.

"We have a great group of coaches," Muehler said. "We have had some that have been coaching for years. They have been moving up in the different age levels."

Muehler wants to have at least 11 players on each team. The league officials are hoping the squads will play a 16-game schedule.

"That will be pushing it," Muehler said.

The Opening Day for the Riverton Little League is Monday, May 7, at Ron Saban Baseball Complex. The championship game is Thursday, June 28.

The district tournament for Riverton Little League will be July 18-20 in Cody. The state tournament is the following week in Green River.

"We are still working out some details at the district level," Muehler said. "Last year, the district tournament was a true single-elimination tournament. We are looking at going to a double-elimination tournament at the district tournament just in case the top two teams are on the same side of the bracket."

Strong league

In 2011, Riverton showed it had one of the best Little Leagues in the state.

In the 9-10-year-old state championship game, Laramie won a 6-5 come-from-behind victory vs. Riverton.

The day started when Laramie forced a second title game in a 4-3 win against Riverton.

Wyoming State Little League officials started the 9-10-year division in 2005.

In the 11-12-year-old state tournament, Laramie's Nathan Burman delivered a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to edge Riverton 8-6 at the state tournament in Gillette.

The loss ended the season for the Fremont County squad.

"I think that the teams did very well last year," said Muehler. "I really believe the coaches at all levels made an impact."

Riverton advanced to the state tournament earlier in the summer winning the district title in Bridger Valley.

"I believe Riverton can be that competitive every year," Muehler said.

Riverton board

"We have a great board," Muehler said. "This is just a huge group effort."

The rest of the board includes Mark Reinig (vice president), Amber Hinkle (player agent), Amy Engstrom (treasurer), Danielle Olheiser (secretary), Jakob Olheiser (equipment manager), Gail Lassiter (concession co-manager), Karen Murdock (concession co-manager), David Kellner (scorekeeper), Mike Salmans (chief umpire), Mike Fisher (member), Cody Beers (member), Deanna Reinig (member), Jeremy Martinez (member), Keith Gantenbein (member), Travis Draper (member), Shane Lassiter (member), Jalene Leach (member), Rich Lange (member), Selmer Murfitt (member) and Daniel Cardenas (member).

"I wanted to make this about a group of people like it has been done in the past," Muehler said. "Our focus is about developing the kids."

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