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Cardinals, A's move into LL championship

Jun 27, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The A's and the Cardinals secured spots for the Riverton Little League major division title game after recording baseball victories on Tuesday in the semifinals at Ron Saban Complex.

Behind a one-hit pitching performance from Kobe Matsen, the A's blanked the Yankees 10-0. The Cardinals ran past the Rockies 10-2 in the other semifinal game.

"The A's are peaking at the perfect time of the season," A's coach Jason Muehler said. "They are fielding the ball well. They are hitting the ball well."

The Rockies eliminated the Cubs 8-4 on Monday night to open the tournament.

The Cardinals entered the postseason tournament as the No. 1 seed.

"We played very well," Cardinals manager Mike Fisher said. "We had very good pitching from Hayden Wempen."

The A's were the No. 2 team from the regular season.

"The Cardinals are a great team," Muehler said.

The Cardinals posted a 3-1 mark in the regular season vs. the A's.

"There is not a lot of differences between the teams this year," Fisher said. "We are going to have to play a perfect game to beat the A's."

The title game is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

"A couple of games with the Cardinals have been close games," Muehler said.

The A's are going to start Ridge McCoy on the mound.

"Ridge will need to focus like he has in the past and throw strikes," Muehler said.

Kyren Higgs and Matt Fisher will share time on the mound for the Cardinals.

In the minor league division, the Orioles face the Giants at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday for the title.

The games will be played at Ron Saban Baseball Complex.

A's 10, Yankees 0

(semifinals)

Matsen was in control from the opening inning vs. the Yankees.

"The fielding behind Kobe was fantastic," Muehler said.

Second baseman Chase Garcia picked up some outs for the A's. "Chase made some great plays," Muehler said.

Dalton Baldes was the catcher for the A's. "Dalton did a great job behind the plate," Muehler said.

The A's jumped ahead of the Yankees early to gain the momentum that never left the team.

"We told the kids that they needed to put the ball in play and run hard," Muehler said. "That is what we did."

Dino Baldes hit a two-run triple to the centerfield fence. Baldes scored on a throwing error for a run.

"We hit the ball well all over the field," Muehler said.

Cameron Wilcox started for the Yankees and Dillon Fabricus came on for relief.

Cardinals 10, Rockies 2

(semifinals)

Wempen and Higgs kept the Rockies off-balanced in the eight-run victory.

Wempen went 4 1/3 innings and Higgs pitched 1 2/3 innings.

"Hayden is a big kid that throws hard," Fisher said. "He is a very effective pitcher. Once he gets in rhythm, he was very hard to get any hits off him."

The Cardinals took a 3-1 lead after the first three innings. The two hitters from the Cardinals walked and Wempen hit a two-run single.

"Getting off to a 3-1 start made a huge difference," Fisher said.

Dalton Lassiter pitched for the Rockies.

"We made errors and the Cardinals hit the ball really well," Rockies coach Travis Draper said. "They have a really good offense."

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