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Raiders split lopsided games with Green River
Riverton Raiders Nick Esposito, left, and Nate Hatfield smiled as assistant coach Aaron Taylor (17) congratulated pitcher Gerald Childers with a chest bump after a strong inning in Riverton's 12-2 win against Green River on Tuesday at Roy Peck Field. The Raiders lost the first game of the doubleheader against the Knights, 14-1. Photo by Jamie Drendel

Raiders split lopsided games with Green River

Jun 20, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Riverton manager Jeremy McCormick didn't like how his Raiders played on Tuesday in a 14-1 American Legion baseball loss to Green River in the opening game of the doubleheader at Roy Peck Field.

McCormick used the break between games to fire up his players, and the Raiders responded to pound the Knights 12-2 in the second game of the doubleheader.

Both the games in the doubleheader were stopped in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule -- once for Green River and once for Riverton..

"The biggest thing between games is that we talked about our demeanor on how we are going to do things," McCormick said. "We really focused on that."

Riverton starter Gerald Childers pitched four innings to earn the victory in game two.

Childers gave up two hits and had one walk, recording six strikeouts. The right-hander had 59 pitches in four innings.

Riverton stands at 7-7 on the season.

"Gerald threw really well," McCormick said. "He threw strikes. He hung one up on the home run, but other than that he did a great job."

Riverton dressed 10 players for the doubleheader.

Leif Krumland played for the first two times this year for the Raiders against Green River.

Krumland played high school baseball in Oregon but is staying in Riverton for the summer.

Riverton will play at Powell on Thursday in a conference doubleheader. The two games are scheduled for 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Raiders are 1-1 in league play.

McCormick said he will start Riverton ace Johnny Souza in the opening game of the doubleheader.

"He always throws well," McCormick said. "He mixes up his pitches. He hits his spots."

McCormick will use Childers in the second game.

GR 14, Riverton 1

Nick Esposito started on the mound for the first time this season, and the left-hander struggled to find the strike zone in the first inning.

Green River took advantage and crossed home plate eight times before Riverton ended the first inning.

"Nick was nervous, but we didn't help him out at times," McCormick said. "We had some errors that led to the big inning."

Riverton was never in game after the first inning. Austin Zeglen pitched a three-hitter for the Knights.

Riverton 12, GR 2

The Raiders were all over home plate in the bottom of the first inning when Green River starter Willie Zajic couldn't find the strike zone.

Riverton scored four runs on only one hit by Rusty Davis in the first inning for a 4-1 lead. Zajic lasted to the second inning before he was pulled by his Green River manager.

The Knights used two more pitchers to complete the game.

In the top of the second inning, Krumland and Childers had back-to-back RBI walks.

Nick Esposito crushed a triple to the fence and scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-1 after three innings.

Zajic cut the lead to 8-2 on a solo home run off Childers to start the fourth inning.

Childers settled down for a strikeout, groundout and a fly out to right to keep it a six-run game.

Riverton added two more runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth inning.

"Gerald wanted to finish the game, but we have two league games coming up on Thursday," McCormick said.

Baylor Beers pitched a scoreless top of the fifth inning.

"Baylor came in and threw a great inning," McCormick said. "He did a great job with his location."

Riverton had nine hits in the win. "It was nice to finish in five, but the biggest thing is how well that we played," McCormick said. "We did a much better of job fielding. We didn't have the errors. We had some hits and runs. We did a lot of the little things a lot better."

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