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Riverton 11-12 stars reach championship game

Riverton 11-12 stars reach district championship game

Jul 20, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Riverton rolled past Green River 13-1 Thursday night to move into the 11-12-year-old all-star baseball Wyoming Little League District 1 title game in Cody and qualify for the state tournament next week at Green River.

Dillon Fabricus pitched a one-hitter, and Riverton's offense erupted for 12 hits in the game. The contest was stopped in the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule.

Riverton challenges Cody at 7 p.m. Friday in Park County for a No. 1 seed for the state tournament. Cody blanked Lander 11-0 in the other semifinal Thursday night.

Riverton came into the district tournament as a No. 2 seed after being swept by Lander in a best-of-three series with Lander last week. Lander received a first-round bye after earning a No. 1 seed.

"It's a great feeling to make it to state, especially since we came in as underdogs," Riverton manager

Mike Fisher said. "We are pretty excited about it."

The win over Green River was the first time the two teams had played this summer.

"We made some adjustments about being more aggressive at the plate," Fisher said. "That is leading to better at-bats and a lot more runs, especially from our top five or six hitters."

Green River heads into a consolation game on Friday afternoon vs. Lander. The two teams won't be playing for a state berth. Riverton opened the district tournament on Wednesday in a 10-2 win against North Big Horn (Lovell).

Riverton was 0-3 vs. North Big Horn in the preseason tournaments.

"Our big game was against Lovell," Fisher said. "They have been kind of a difficult hurdle for us. We were a lot more relaxed against Green River. That showed in our play. We did a great job from the start. We had a lot of good at-bats. We just kept our momentum up the whole game."

Cody entered the eight-team district tournament as the favorite to win the crown.

"Cody is a team that you can't make any mistakes against," Fisher said. "That does put a lot of pressure on us. We have hardly made any mistakes the last couple of games, I look to continue that at this point."

The state tournament will begin on Wednesday in Green River. The top two teams from the two district tournaments will be in the bracket.

Riverton 13, G. R. 1

Riverton's offense was on all game long vs. Green River. Riverton scored two runs in the first inning and two more in the second frame for a 6-1 lead.

Riverton loaded the bases in the top of the third inning after Kobe Matsen singled, and Kyren Higgs and Matt Fisher drew back-to-back walks. Jaren Draper hit a two-run double to build the advantage to 8-1. Ridge McCoy knocked in the next two runs t make it 10-1.

In the top of the third inning, Fabricus had his fourth strikeout of the game and two more outs in the field for a scoreless inning.

James Hampton walked in the top of the fourth inning and pushed the lead to 11-1 when he scored on an infield error from Green River. Riverton crossed home plate two more times in the fifth inning on consecutive RBI singles from Draper and McCoy.

Draper, McCoy and Brodie Roden had three hits apiece. Draper had four hits in Riverton's victory Wednesday night vs. North Big Horn.

Fisher said Fabricus threw 48 pitches in the five-inning game for the victory.

"Dillon pitched extremely well," Fisher said. "He had a great curveball. He pitched strikes. He had an excellent breaking ball. He kept them off balance for the whole game."

Cody 11, Lander 0

Pitching can dominate a Little League game, and Cody's Brown twins, Keagan and Cooper, combined to throw a no-hitter against Lander Thursday.

Not to be outdone, Lander's Derek Green only gave up one hit himself in the first four innings.

Cody was up 1-0 after the first two innings. The host team crossed home plate two more times in the third inning to increase the cushion to 3-0. Cody broke open the game in fifth inning, scoring seven runs on six hits against Lander's bullpen.

The game was stopped in the fifth inning on the 10-run mercy rule.

"Their pitcher was pretty good. It was Cody's ace. It was a tough a loss for the kids," Lander manager Ernie Vierra said.

Lander's offense was able to get the bat on the ball but couldn't find holes in the Cody defense.

"Every time we hit the ball, we hit it at somebody. Their pitchers spotted the ball. Cody is good. Once you get a couple of errors, those can really kill you," Vierra said.

-- Staff writer Craig Blumenshine contributed to this story.

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