Jul 11, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorDerick Green broke a 4-4 deadlock for the Lander 11-12-year-old baseball all-stars with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, and it was the game-winner vs. Riverton on Tuesday night in Lander.
Lander pitcher Devon Kuck allowed Riverton one run in the next three innings to compete the best-of-three sweep in a 6-5 Lander win.
"It was just one of those fastballs," said Green on the pitch he hit for the game-winning home run. "Baseball is our game. It's our love and our sport. We just love it so much."
Riverton had a 4-0 lead before Lander started to make its comeback.
"It means a lot to beat Riverton," said Green after the series. "We work hard and do our best. We just work together as a group."
Lander earned a 7-5 victory over Riverton on Monday night at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex in Riverton in the opening game of the series.
"They were two very close games," Riverton manager Mike Fisher said. "Lander is a good team. They did a great job. You have to give them credit."
Lander will now be a No. 1 seed for the district tournament on Wednesday, July 18, through Friday, July 20, in Cody.
"This is a really big win," Lander manager Ernie Vierra said. "Anytime you play Riverton, it's going to be a tough game. It was a good test for us. Riverton is always good."
Riverton has dominated the early postseason series with Lander in recent years.
The top two teams from district tournaments advance to the state tournament. The brackets for the district tournament will be announced in the next few days.
Lander 6, Lander 5
Riverton's Ridge McCoy continued his hot streak at the plate on Tuesday night, clouting a three-run homer over the left field fence in the first inning.
McCoy had two homers Monday for Riverton in front of his home fans.
Kyren Higgs added an RBI double to put the visiting team ahead 4-0.
"When we jumped out to that big lead, that was important for us," Fisher said.
In the bottom of the second, William Atnip put Lander on the scoreboard with an RBI single vs. Riverton starter Dillon Fabricus.
Jacob Lytle connected for an RBI single for Lander, and Spencer Smithbaker hit an RBI double to tie it at 4-4.
"We just let Lander get back in the game," Fisher said.
In the top of the fourth, Cody Frazier produced an RBI single to make it a 6-5 game.
"We had our chances, but things just didn't go our way," Fisher said.
McCoy was called out at home plate to finish the inning for Riverton.
Kuck had to leave the game in the top of the sixth after he reached the 85-pitch limit.
"Devon did great," Green said. "This was one of the best games that he ever pitched. Everybody encouraged him, everybody in the stands and the coaches. He is just a really good guy.
This was the first time Fisher had seen Kuck pitch all season.
"He did a good job," Fisher said.
"He threw strikes. At this age level, if you are going to throw strikes then you are going to win."
Smithbaker walked Matt Fisher, but the right-hander ended the game on a flyout to left field.
"Our defense played really well," Vierra said.
Fabricus went the distance for Riverton.
"Dillon pitched a great game for us," Fisher said. "We couldn't have asked anything more from him."
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