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Lander's 11-12 Little League hopes dashed early by Cody

Jul 22, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

The team bounced back to beat Green River 14-2 in consolation play

Lander's hope of qualifying for the state 11-12 year-old state Little League tournament was cut short Thursday when twin brothers Keagan and Cooper Brown combined to throw a no-hitter and power Cody to an 11-0 win against the Lander all-stars.

On Friday, Lander bounced back and defeated Green River 14-2 in consolation play. However, because of tournament procedures, there were no provisions for Lander to fight its way back to championship contention.

"We would have like to have been able to come around the losers bracket or challenge for second place. I would like to see that as a double elimination tournament. The state tournament should probably be a single elimination," Lander head coach Ernie Vierra said.

As tough as Thursday's loss to Cody was, Lander bounced back Friday. Devon Kuck was the winning pitcher against Green River, tossing a six-hitter.

"We hit the ball so good. We had 16-hits in four innings and scored 14 earned runs," Vierra said.

Spencer Smithbaker pounded two doubles and scored four runs. Derick Green went 3-4 and also smacked a double for the big hits in Lander's offensive attack.

Bridger Kimber had three hits, and Noah Gans went 3-4.

"Noah was a catalyst for us. He played a heck of a game," Vierra said.

Lander took extra batting practice prior to Friday's game.

"We hit the gaps. I like the way our kids responded. It is always good to end the season with a win. Lander's Little League is up and coming. The future looks good for the Lander league," Vierra said.

Cody 11, Lander 0

It was Thursday's strong twin pitching combo from Cody that doomed Lander.

Not to be outdone, Lander's pitcher, Green, only gave up one hit himself in his first four innings of work. Cody led 1-0 after two innings and plated 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 rule.

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

Cody won the district tournament title Friday night with a 15-3 win over Riverton, who will have the second seed from District 1 at the state tournament.

Lander 11-12 team members include Lorenzo Vierra, Derik Smith, William Atnip, Bridger Kimber, Derick Green, Devon Kuck, Conrad Swenson, Noah Gans, Brady Carey, Spencer Smithbaker and Jacob Lytle.

Coaches for the Lander 11-12 team were Ernie Vierra, John Gans and Preston Smith.

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