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Braves edge Rockies for perfect season
Jun 23, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
The team is the No. 1 seed in the annual Little League postseason tournament.
The Braves of the Riverton Little League major division won the regular season on an undefeated mark last week.
In a tight game, the Braves edged the Rockies by one run.
The Braves will now be the No. 1 seed for the annual Little League postseason tournament.
"One of the teams has been really dominant," Riverton Little League president Mark Reinig said. "The other ones are pretty much equal. That is just how it falls out every year."
The first day of the tournament will begin at 8 p.m. Monday at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex.
The Twins face the Braves, while the Rockies play the Orioles.
The championship game will be at 6 p.m. Thursday for the major and minor league divisions.
Free dinner is slated to be served for the coaches and the players, and fans can buy a meal for $5.
"I'm really excited for championship week," Reinig said. "There has been a lot of effort put on by the volunteers and the board members."
The season will conclude after the championship game with an awards ceremony and the announcements of the two all-star teams.
The fireworks show is scheduled for dusk Thursday.
"That is one of the highlights of the summer," Reinig said. "One of the years that we didn't do it because of the rain, we took a lot of slack. We are hoping for good weather."
Four Riverton major league teams played a 13-game schedule.
"I would like to see a little more, but with only four major divisions we cut it back just so they won't have to play each other so much," Reinig said.
The Braves were managed by Justin Gaston.
"The kids that I had worked very hard," Gaston said. "They were behind each other 100 percent. They did the little things that you need to do to win games. They backed up throws, they took the extra base when they were running the bases when they had the chance. I couldn't be prouder of them."
A deep pitching staff was key for the Braves.
"We had a couple of kids that started pitching," Gaston said. "They stepped up and threw strikes. We didn't give away too many free passes. They did an exceptional job."
Rockies manager Travis Draper thought his team took positive strides all year long.
"The kids played good baseball and had a lot of fun," Draper said. "That is what it's all about. We are just trying to get better on all the fundamental stuff. It has seemed like we got better in all that, which is what you want to do."
At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the Yankees and the Red Sox take the diamond in the minor league division.
The Cardinals challenge the Reds in the second game.
The winner of those two games play either the Tigers or the Giants in the next round.
The minor league teams competed in a 13-game schedule.
"They improved the most on their knowledge of baseball," Reinig said.
"The kids just start to play good baseball when the season is over."
The Giants ended up winning the regular season crown.
"This year, the league was down about 75 kids," Reinig said.
"Last year was an extreme number.
We are about normal. We came in at 325 kids."