Jul 10, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander overcame two home runs by Riverton's Ridge McCoy Monday night to win 7-5 in the first game of the best-of-three series between the 11-12-year-old all-stars from the two Fremont County Little League baseball programs.
The game was played at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex in Riverton.
The series shifted Lander for Tuesday night's game. Riverton will need to win the game to force a third game Thursday in Lander.
"We came out really flat," Riverton manager Mike Fisher said. "That was kind of surprising because we played very well over the weekend in Cody. We played with some good teams up there, and we did pretty well. We will be ready to go on Tuesday night."
The winner of the series will be a No. 1 seed for the district tournament July 18-20 in Cody.
"Lander has a good team," Fisher said. "You could see from their hitting. They play very good defense on the left side of the infield."
Fisher is expecting the series to go the full three games.
"It's going to be a back-and-forth battle for the next couple of games," Fisher said.
Lander 7, Riverton 5
In the top of the first inning, Lorenzo Vierra opened the game with a single vs. Riverton starting pitcher Dalton Lassiter.
Spencer Smithbaker blasted a two-run home run over the fence for a quick 2-0 lead for the visiting squad.
McCoy cranked out his first home run against Derick Green in the bottom of the second inning to pull Riverton within 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Noah Gans had an RBI single for a 5-1 Lander cushion.
After a pair of putouts by Riverton's second baseman Cody Frazier, Lander's Bridger Kimber recorded an RBI single for an insurance run at 6-1.
But Riverton loaded the bases after Kyren Higgs and Jaren Draper reached on base by Lander errors and Matt Fisher was hit by a pitch.
McCoy crushed a grand slam over the fence to make it a 6-5 game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"We have been waiting for Ridge to do that," Fisher said. "I think Ridge is hot. He can carry us a long way."
Fisher felt Riverton had the momentum back on its side after the big home run.
"We thought that we had a good chance to catch up at that point," Fisher said.
Green left the mound after the home run because his 85 pitch count was used up.
Smithbaker shut down Riverton the rest of the way after the home run.
Lassiter was pulled early in the game, and Higgs replaced him on the mound.
Higgs went his full 85 pitches. Dillon Fabricus closed the game out for Riverton in the top of the sixth inning.
"We have a lot of pitching depth," Fisher said. "We have an advantage over a lot of teams around here. Hopefully, that depth will carry us in rest of the series."
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