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Souza shines as Raiders get win
Riverton ace Johnny Souza pitched a four-hitter against Evanston on Saturday. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Souza shines as Raiders get win

May 15, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Johnny Souza recorded 10 strikeouts Saturday and hit a two-run homer to propel the Riverton Raiders to a 4-2 American League baseball victory over Evanston at a tournament in Green River.

The Outlaws had swept the Raiders 12-4 and 22-6 in a doubleheader on Saturday, May 5, in Lander.

The host Green River Knights picked up a 16-6 victory in the second game of the day on Saturday with Riverton. Riverton is now 1-3 on the season.

"When I was on the mound on Saturday, I felt like mentally I was in the zone," Souza said. "I was ready to play. I knew my team had my back. Physically, my arm was not in the best shape."

The Raiders play at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a nine-inning game vs. the Casper Oilers at Roy Peck Field in Riverton.

Riverton is scheduled to play at noon on Saturday in a doubleheader with Rawlins at Roy Peck Field.

Rawlins had to pull out of the Green River tournament because they couldn't field enough players.

Riverton 4, Evanston 2

"In the first inning of the game, my arm felt great," Souza said. "It didn't hurt very much. It still had a little pain, but not that bad."

The game was scoreless for the first two innings.

"In the second inning when I was doing my warm-up pitches that is when it really started to kick in," Souza said. "I was throwing with a sore arm for the rest of the game."

In the third inning, Gerald Childers reached on base on a single, and Souza belted his two-run blast for the 2-0 cushion. Nick Esposito had an RBI double in the inning.

Evanston scored one run in third third inning on three hits off Souza.

"I was just putting bags of ice on my arm when I wasn't pitching," Souza said. "I was just able to hit my spots on the mound, and my defense had my back."

Evanston scored one run in the fifth, but the Raiders added another run in the final two innings for the two-run win.

"We figured out that the first four Evanston batters were the best hitters that they had," Souza said. "For those guys I really had to watch what I did with my curveball. I couldn't hang it. I had to put it in a good spot. Or else it wasn't going to end well for me."

Souza said he controlled the bottom part of the order of the Outlaws.

"The fifth through the ninth batters really had a hard time touching the curveball," Souza said. "We went curveball, curveball and threw maybe a fastball. We stuck with the offspeed stuff, and they had a hard time touching it."

Esposito worked behind the plate for the Raiders.

"Nick has been my catcher since we were 11," Souza said. "He knows what to call and where to put the ball."

Brady Beers had two hits.

Green River 16, Riverton 6

(Second game)

Childers started on the mound in the second game vs. the Knights and Green River had an 11-0 lead after the first inning.

Childers was pulled in the first inning and Maurice King came on the mound to end the frame.

Riverton was never in the game after the first inning.

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