Jul 14, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorManager Ernie Vierra keeps on pushing for Lander baseball to expand at all age levels, and he has decided to enter a 14-year-old (and younger) Lander all-star team for tournament play.
The state tournament is Thursday through Saturday in Torrington.
Official tournament brackets haven't been announced yet.
"We are a very young league," Vierra said. "We have a lot of 13-to 14-year-olds, but no 15-year-olds."
Wyoming also offers a 13-year-old state tournament, and a 14-year-old field.
"We thought our best team would be a 14-and-under team," Vierra said.
The team was assembled two weeks ago.
"I think that this team is a good thing to get our kids some exposure," Vierra said. "Our goal is to get better."
Lander had a pair of teams play in the Riverton Babe Ruth League.
"We picked the best ones that were available," Vierra said. "We had a lot of kids who couldn't committee. They were going out of town on vacation."
Vierra managed Lander's 11-12-year-old all-star team last year at the district tournament.
Lander finished in third place, and missed qualifying for the state tournament.
The new all-star team consists of both 13- and 14-year-olds.
"I think that it's good balance for the future," Vierra said. "We have to start building our program."
"The No. 1 thing is that we have to pitch well, and we have to hit," Vierra said. "We are going to do whatever it takes to get on base to score."
Lorenzo Vierra, Derik Smith, Derrick Green, Zac Nerlin, Ben Hoopengarner, Jacob Lytle, Antonio Coando, Dylan Cachlin, Wyatt Bourmazian, Dominic Susanka and Tyler Coffman are representing Lander this weekend.
Green, Smith, Lytle and Hoopengarner are the pitching staff.
Hoopengarner is the closer for Lander.
"Most of our whole team actually can pitch," Vierra said. "Our pitchers have a lot of experience. I'm confident that they will throw strikes. We are kind of grooming them for next year."
Lorenza Vierra plays first base. Lytle records the outs from shortstop. Smith covers third base. Susanka is at second.
"Our infield is going to pretty good," Vierra said.
Hoopengarner, Coando and Cachlin play in the outfield.
Nerlin and Bournazian are the catchers.
"They are doing well, and they are learning every day," Vierra said.
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