Jul 18, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander is the first team to win the annual vintage baseball tournament at South Pass City three times in a row.
Lander outlasted Riverton 20-7 for the championship Sunday afternoon in South Pass City.
The tournament started in 2001. It features old-style uniforms, gloves, and other equipment.
"As I'm getting older, I sure appreciate the wins a whole lot more than I did when I was younger because baseball is not going to last forever for me," Lander coach and player Ray Malek said. "We were impressed to win it." Riverton was tough. Hudson was tough. South Pass still has to win its first one."
The key win in the two-tournament came in the semifinals on Saturday.
Riverton was up 6-3, and Lander came back to win 11-8. The tournament was a double-elimination bracket.
"Riverton was very difficult this year," Malek said. "We thought that we would be in the loser bracket. Our bats came alive, and we started to hit the ball better. We were making a lot of errors early. "
Riverton advanced to the title game by beating Hudson.
"We knew that Riverton had to play that extra game," Malek said. "Riverton and Hudson both had a real close game. They had to go extra innings. We knew that the heat and the game was wearing at them. We were a little more fresh."
Players for Lander in the tournament were E.J. Sullivan, Eli Olson, Alex Ayers, Brian Oland, Eric Baker, Dalton Crane, Nick Scribner, Brad Beuchell, Mark Foster, Matt Church and James West. "We had a couple of new guys on the team," Malek said.
New to the Lander team were Crane, Scribner, Church and Beuchell.
"We went with the new guys because of the timing of the tournament," Malek said. "The new guys made a big difference for us."
Lander 20, Riverton 7
Lander opened the game with a 5-0 lead in the first couple of innings vs. Riverton.
"We put a score on every inning, expect for the last inning," Malek said.
Malek was surprised to see Lander put up 20 runs vs. the pitching from Riverton.
"Anytime you hit ball you score runs in that field and that game, you are doing well," Malek said. "It's a tough game."
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