Jul 26, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorGREEN RIVER -- Laramie had its high-powered offense in gear from the start against Riverton, collecting a 13-3 victory Wednesday under the lights in the first round of the Wyoming 11-12-year-old state Little League baseball tournament.
Laramie has won the past six state Little League titles. Laramie also beat Riverton at the 2011 state tournament in Gillette.
"Laramie is a good team," Riverton manager Mike Fisher said. "Make no mistake about it. They have very good hitting and good pitching. We hung with them for a while. If we would have had a few things go our way, then it would have been a different game."
Riverton played Gillette on Thursday afternoon in a consolation game in the state tournament to stay alive. The loser of the game is finished. The winner moves into a Friday game at 4 p.m. to play for a spot in the title game.
Cody blanked Gillette 15-0 in the first game of the double-elimination tournament. Laramie played Cody in the semifinal game. The winner of that game clinches a spot in the title game and will get Friday off from competition.
Gillette edged Laramie in an early game at the district tournament, but Laramie pounded Gillette in the title game.
"Gillette is a very good team, or they wouldn't be here right now," Fisher said. "Gillette probably just had an off day with Cody. We just need to come in and be ready to go. We need to come in and make our plays, and then we should be fine."
The title game of the four-day tournament will be held Saturday afternoon.
Laramie 13, Riverton 3
Riverton's Brodie Roden was a surprise starter on the mound in the contest vs. Laramie. Roden did a pitch in the district title tournament last week to Cody when Riverton fell in the contest.
"A lot of the times, we are looking at how the pitchers are throwing in practice," Fisher said. "Brodie was throwing very well in practice, as was Ridge McCoy. It was a toss-up either way. Our pitching is not a huge issue for us."
Laramie took an early 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Kyren Higgs singled, and Matt Fisher walked for Riverton in the bottom of the first. Fisher crossed the plate on a wild pitch for the first run of the state tournament for Riverton.
In the top of the second, Laramie put together two RBI singles and an RBI triple for a 6-1 cushion. Riverton kept the game close in the bottom of the second when Dillon Fabricus doubled to the fence. Fisher and Higgs had RBI singles to make the scoreboard read 6-3.
In the top of the third inning, Riverton's defense made a couple of mistakes, and Laramie responded by scoring seven times to go up 13-3. In the inning, Fisher pulled Roden and put McCoy on the mound.
"You could see that the two or three errors set us back," Fisher said. "If we would have made one or two routine plays... but the errors happen. If you have a couple in one inning, then that is going to cause major problems, especially against a team like Laramie."
Fabricus pitched a scoreless fourth inning. The game ended in the bottom of the fourth after Riverton couldn't push any runs home.
"We just needed to have timely hitting and get more runners on base," Fisher said.
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