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Late rally sends Riverton stars over Lander

Jul 10, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The two Fremont County teams played again on Tuesday night in Lander to continue the series.

Riverton crossed home plate two times in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull out a 4-3 victory on Monday night vs. the Lander 9-10-year-old Little League baseball all-stars.

On the final play, Riverton's Jereko Martinez put down a bunt to score Konnor Gastan for the winning run.

The 9-10-year-old games are five innings.

"Konnor took off on contact and slid right under the tag," Riverton assistant coach Jason Muehler said. "It was a great win considering that we came out ice cold. The boys battled back."

The first game of the three-game series was played at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex in Riverton.

"We learned that we need to show up and be ready to play," Muehler said.

The two Fremont County teams played again on Tuesday night in Lander.

"I thought we played really well," Lander manager Tracy Yates said.

"We made a couple of mental errors in the game, and that was the difference in the game."

Lander will need to win on Tuesday to force a third game of the series set for Thursday.

"We learned in the first game not to hold the ball," Yates said. "You have to go with your gut to throw the ball.

You can't hang on to it and wonder what they are going to do."

The winner of the series will take a No. 1 seed into the district tournament.

Muehler said he isn't sure who Riverton will start on the mound in the second game of the series vs. Lander.

"I was a little surprised that it was low scoring," Muehler said.

Yates is planning on starting Tyler Massey on the mound.

"We have to pitch good again," Yates said. "He has to pitch strikes."

Riverton 4, Lander 3

Lander had the early lead. The visiting team scored the first three runs of the game before Riverton started its comeback.

Riverton crossed home plate twice in the bottom of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Damon DeVries hit a line shot to left center to start the rally for Riverton.

"From that point on, I just think that it gave us a lot of confidence that we were going to win the game," Muehler said.

Martinez pitched the entire game for Riverton

"We came out a little tight with the opening game," Muehler said. "Jereko threw a lot of low pitches. He caused Lander to ground out a lot. The fielders took care of the rest."

Dominic Yates pitched the first four innings for Lander.

"We probably would have pitched him 75 pitches because it looked like we were going to win the game," coach Yates said. "Dominic pitched an excellent game." Massey pitched the final inning for Lander.

"When Riverton hit the ball, we just kind of hung on to the ball.

We should have kept the eye on the runners," Yates said. "The kids just took their eyes off the runners."

Yates knew Riverton was going to run and run on the bases.

"Riverton is an aggressive team," Yates said. "We just got a little confused."

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