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Fifth straight 'vintage' baseball crown for Lander at South Pass

Jul 16, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Players use old-fashioned equipment and play under somewhat different rules from the modern game.

Lander won three consecutive games on the second day of the annual "vintage" baseball tournament Sunday and took first place at the South Pass City State Historic Site.

The tournament is part of the annual Gold Rush Days at the old gold-mining ghost town.

Players use old-fashioned equipment and play under somewhat different rules from the modern game.

In the first title game on Sunday, Lander dominated South Pass City 15-1 to force a second game in the double-elimination format.

In the final game, Lander blanked South Pass City 2-0 for the championship, Lander's fifth straight Gold Rush Days title.

Championship

Brian Oland was the starter on the mound for Lander in the final game.

"We saved Brian for the championship game, but we had to beat Riverton first," coach Ray Malek said.

Oland pitched a total of 11 innings in the two-day tournament.

"Brian throws hard," Malek said. "He knows how to change up his curveball and splitter to keep you off balance.

In the first title game, Malek said South Pass struggled in the first inning on defense.

"South Pass City was overthrowing and letting things go through their legs," Malek said. "They weren't catching the fly balls."

Lander scored 10 runs in the first inning.

"We batted through twice," Malek said. "We just kind of coasted to the end."

The momentum was on Lander's side going into the final game of the tournament. Alex Ayars was on the mound.

"He threw a lot of curveballs," Malek said. "They didn't hit anything solid."

Eric Baker connected for a single and stole second. Dalton Crane had an RBI single to drive in the first run.

"It was a real tight final," Malek said. Crane later scored the second run of the frame.

South Pass City pitcher Gerald Childers threw in the final game.

"He pretty much shut us down," Malek said. "I think that is the lowest we have ever scored in a game."

Lander allowed three runs in the two championship games.

"We played really solid defense in the second game," Malek said. "It puts a smile on my face."

Early game

Riverton defeated Lander 11-7 in the first game on Saturday.

"Riverton beat with home runs, and we had our errors," Malek said. "We don't usually have a lot. We created our own errors."

The shaky defense allowed Riverton to take the early lead from Lander at the start.

On Sunday, Lander made key defensive plays all day to long for the championship run.

Lander started it with a 9-3 victory vs. Riverton to advance into the championship contest.

Oland was the winning pitcher for Lander against Riverton.

Family affair

Malek played with sons Bradley and Joey Malek together for the first time for Lander.

"I have played with Joey before," Ray Malek said. "This was his third year at it."

Bradley Malek is 16-year-old. He played for the Lander Senior Babe Ruth team this summer.

"He has seen adults pitching at him before," Coach Malek said.

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