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Dramatic base hit gives Raiders conference victory
Johnny Souza hit the game-winning single for the Riverton Raiders in a 4-3 win Tuesday against the Cody Cubs. Riverton split the conference American Legion doubleheader at Roy Peck Field. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Dramatic base hit gives Raiders conference victory

May 30, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Maurice King kept the Riverton Raiders within striking distance on the mound, and Johnny Souza connected for a walk-off single on Tuesday night in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory over the Cody Cubs in an American Legion baseball conference game at Roy Peck Field.

Souza's hit down the third-base knocked in Rusty Davis for the final run. Davis walked in the bottom of the seventh inning, and Josh Parker moved Davis to third on sacrifice bunt.

"It was a high and inside pitch, so I wasn't even sure that I was going to hit it," said Souza. "It was kind of up in the middle of the bat. After the hit, I just slowly jogged to first with my hands in the air going crazy."

King went the complete game on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts.

"My curveball is what I liked during the heart of the game," King said. "At the end, my arm was getting a little tired so I decided to go fastball and hope for the best."

In the opener, Cody took advantage of seven errors from Riverton in a 4-1 win.

Riverton is now 4-5 on the season, and 1-1 in conference play.

"Maurice threw the ball very well," Riverton manager Jeremy McCormick said.

"We did more good things, and that was good to see. It was good to see them battle back in that second game to come out with a win."

The Raiders were coming off a 26-3 loss to the Casper Oilers last week, when Souza went 139 pitches in five innings of work. Souza didn't pitch in Tuesday's doubleheader because of a hurt shoulder, but anchored the infield from his shortstop position.

The Raiders face Sheridan at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader at Roy Peck Field.

"We need to get our bats going a little bit more, but we were able to move guys around a little more and steal a little bit," McCormick said. "We were able to do a lot of things to manufacture runs."

Riverton 4, Cody 3

(Nightcap)

Cody's Taylor Hubbell kept the Raiders off balance with a fastball, and a curveball in the first five innings.

The Cubs scored one run in the first inning off King for a 1-0 advantage.

King and his defense provided four scoreless innings until Cody crossed home plate two more times in the top of the six for a 3-0 cushion.

'When we got down a little bit, I knew that we had to get the bats going a little bit," King said. "We just knew that we had to chip away at the lead."

In the bottom of the sixth, Souza and Nick Esposito had two straight infield singles. Souza scored on a wild pitch to pull within 3-1.

King helped himself out with an RBI single, and Gerald Childers put down an RBI bunt to deadlock it at 3-3.

"The three-run inning that we had really helped us out for the seventh inning," King said.

Cody started off the inning on a single, but King recorded a pair of strikeouts.

With two outs, a Cody player hit a deep fly ball to left field in foul territory, and Childers caught it for the final out of the inning.

Hubbell gave up seven hits, but had 12 strikeouts in the one-run loss.

Cody 4, Riverton 1

(Opener)

Childers got the start in the opening game of the doubleheader and went three innings. He gave up four runs in the top of the third inning as the visiting squad went up 4-0.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Raiders finally scored their only run of the contest. Parker pitched four scoreless innings.

Parker and Davis got on base with back-to-back singles. Parker scored on a wild pitch, but Cody's Connor Webster finished the game with a strikeout.

Webster had nine strikeouts in the complete game victory.

Riverton put together six hits. Parker had a team-high two hits.

Webster spent his freshman season playing baseball at Miles Community College.

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