Jul 22, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThe Riverton Little League all-stars fell to Cody 15-3 to finish second at the District 1 11-12 year-old Little League championship in Cody.
Riverton will now battle six-time defending Wyoming Little League champion and current District 2 champion Laramie when the state tournament opens Wednesday in Green River. Cody will open against Gillette, the District 2 second seed.
Laramie blasted Gillette 17-2 Friday to win the District 2 title.
Lander was not able to qualify for the state tournament and was dropped to consolation play with an 11-0 loss against Cody Thursday.
"We did tremendously better than we expected to do going in," Riverton head coach Mike Fisher said.
Behind the one-hit pitching of Dillon Fabricus, Riverton easily beat Green River 13-1 Thursday night to move to the 11-12-year-old title game.
In Friday's championship game, Riverton played host Cody tough in the early going and trailed 4-2 after three innings.
"We hung with them real well for about three innings. We had some personnel issues we had to work around. They are an excellent team, definitely. You can't make any mistakes and beat them, and we did make some mistakes," Fisher said.
Cody scored in every inning but the second to cruise to the easy win.
Fisher said his team needs to improve on defense and hitting to perform well at state.
"We need to avoid giving up steals and delayed steals, and improve our defensive positioning," Fisher said.
The preliminary tournament schedule has Riverton playing its first game at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday against Laramie.
Riverton will lead with its top pitchers 11-year-olds Jaren Draper and Fabricus at the state tournament and follow with 12-year-old pitchers Brodie Roden, Ridge McCoy, Matt Fisher and Kyren Higgs, according to coach Fisher.
Offensively, Fisher said Roden really picked up his bat in the No. 5. spot in the lineup. McCoy also is hitting well.
"All of our hitters are having ups and downs," Fisher said.
The four teams at the state tournament will battle through a double-elimination bracket.
"We hadn't been playing that great, but we have continued to improve. We achieved more than we expected to. Everything came together for us. The winner (at state) will go to San Bernardino (Calif.) the following week," Fisher said.
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