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Cards atop Little League majors at halfway mark
Jun 8, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Midway through the 2012 Riverton Little League baseball season, the Cardinals have built a two-game advantage in the five-team division.
The Cardinals are enjoying first place with a 6-2 record. The Cardinals dropped a 3-2 decision to the Cubs on Wednesday night at Ron Saban Baseball Complex.
The major league is for players 11-12 years old.
"It has gone pretty well up to Wednesday night," Cardinals manager Mike Fisher said. "Everybody was flat on Wednesday."
The story of the first half of the season has been the pitching in the league.
Kyren Higgs and Matt Fisher pitched for the Cardinals on Wednesday evening.
"We usually don't give up a lot of runs because we have very good pitching," Fisher said. "We didn't hit very well against the Cubs."
In the win for the Cubs, Alek Phifer started on the mound and went 35 pitches. The Cubs sit at 4-4.
Jayce Leach and Peyton Rees closed out the game vs. the Cardinals on the mound.
"We had a lot of good pitching with the Cardinals," Cubs manager Jeremy Saltsgaver said. "We are playing the field a lot better now."
Saltsgaver said the victory on Wednesday night was the best win of the season.
"It was the first time that Jayce has pitched," Saltsgaver said. "Alek had pitched one game before, but that was the first game he had ever started. He did awesome for us. We have a lot of pitchers that can pitch."
The Yankees are 4-5, the A's stand at 5-5, and the Rockies check in at 2-5.
The season is 16 games.
The league started doubleheaders this week. The games in the major league division are played on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"Doubleheaders are difficult to do because you have a limitation on pitchers to pitch in one day, but you also have restrictions on catchers and how many they can catch and pitch on the same day," Fisher said.
A different rule for Little League this year is that a player who throws 41 or more pitches in a game cannot be moved to the catcher position for the remainder of the game.
If a player catches four innings or more, then he can't pitch the same day.
"There is a lot of thinking going on during the games," Rockies coach Travis Draper said.
If a player throws 66 pitches or more, the player must have four days rest.
The most a pitcher can pitch in a game is 85 pitches.
Pitchers throwing up to 20 pitches don't have to rest in between games.
From 21 to 35 pitches, one day of rest must be allowed. If a pitcher throws 36 to 50 pitchers, two days rest must be given.
After 51 to 65 pitchers, the player must have three days off before pitching again.
"We have slumped a little bit this week," Yankees manager Scott Fabricus said. "We have had some kids gone for different things.
Depth has been a little bit of an issue. I'm optimistic that we will turn it back around."
Fabricus said Dillon Fabricus, Cameron Wilcox, Hunter Bradshaw and Jordan Cabada all are in the pitching staff for the Yankees.
The veteran leaders for the A's are Ridge McCoy, Kobe Matsen and Chase Garcia.
"We need to improve a little bit on our batting," A's manager Jeremy Martinez said. "Our pitching is coming around. We are starting to get some of our veteran players to be leaders of the team."
McCoy plays first base and pitcher.
Matsen is a catcher and pitcher. Garcia is the second baseman and also pitches.
The Rockies are fresh off a 4-3 victory over the A's on Wednesday night to get their second win of the season.
James Hampton pitched the complete game. "James pitched really well," Draper said.
Jaren Draper, Dalton Lassiter and Hampton are the top three pitchers on the roster.
"It's fun to see the players progress," Draper said. "I wish the season was longer."