Jul 9, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorT.J. Paulsen laid down the game-winning bunt for the Riverton Raiders in an 8-7 American Legion baseball conference victory over the Green River Knights Tuesday night at Roy Peck Field.
The squeeze play brought home Ridge McCoy to complete the come-from-behind win in the seventh inning after Riverton trailed 7-4.
The doubleheader was the final home games of the season for the Raiders.
"The pitch was a fastball," Paulsen said. "It was low and outside. I almost hit it up. You really never know what is going to happen."
In the nightcap, Green River pounded Riverton 16-0 to earn the split.
The game was stopped in the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule.
Riverton is now 5-3 in conference play. Green River raised its league mark to 4-2.
Evanston (4-4) and Rock springs (3-7) round out the league.
"It was one of the first times all season that we showed enough resilience to come back and win," Riverton manager Brady Beers said.
The Raiders are 14-19 overall.
Cody dominated Riverton 23-1 and 30-6 on Monday night.
"Monday night was so bad that we practiced after the games," Paulsen said. "We ran a lot. The practice was about an hour and a half."
The Raiders play Saturday and Sunday in a two-day tournament at Douglas.
Riverton faces Rock Springs at 10:30 a.m. and Torrington at 1 p.m. on the first day.
Green River 7
Riverton's Ryan Axthelm connected for a home run, and Jaren Draper had an RBI single to knot the score at 3-3 after four innings of play.
After a scoreless fifth, Green River crossed home plate two times against Riverton starter Steven Reinig.
After a single run by the Raiders, Green River was up 7-4.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Reinig and Axthelm were hit by the Green River pitches.
"Our base runners really helped us win the game," Paulsen said.
McCoy hit a two-run single to close it to 7-6.
"Ridge has been huge for us," Beers said. "His stick has been all over the place. He is hitting the ball remarkably well."
Brayden Draper had an RBI single to tie it 7-7 to set the stage for Paulsen.
"T.J. lives and breathes bunting the baseball," Beers said. "He never complains about bunting."
Reinig earned the win, throwing all seven innings.
He had five strikeouts in 110 pitches.
"Steven has been the ace of the staff this year," Beers said.
Green River 16,
Green River was on a mission not to have a repeat performance in the second game.
The Knights exploded for seven runs in the top of the second running, making the scoreboard read 8-0.
Green River put the game away with eight more runs in the fourth inning.
Riverton's left fielder Rusty Davis caught a fly ball and threw it to second base for a double play late in the game.
The play turned out to be Riverton's lone defensive highlight.
Baylor Beers started on the mound and took the loss for the Raiders.
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