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Riverton LL stars fall at state tournament
Riverton pitcher Jaren Draper threw out a Gillette runner late in the game Thursday afternoon in Green River. Photo by Bruce Tippets

Riverton LL stars fall 9-6 to Gillette at state tournament

Jul 27, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

GREEN RIVER -- Gillette ended the baseball season for the Riverton 11-12-year-old Little League all-stars in a 9-6 victory Thursday afternoon in Green River.

The win by Gillette came in a consolation game of the Wyoming state Little League four-team, double-elimination tournament.

Riverton went 0-2 at the state tournament after losing to Laramie 13-3 on Wednesday night. Riverton finished fourth in the state.

"We didn't play particularly well against Gillette," Riverton manager Mike Fisher said. "We had a lot of strikeouts. My top five hitters are usually pretty good at making contact. That was probably what the difference in the game was. We just had an off day."

Cody advanced to the title game with a 13-3 win over Laramie.

"It was a good experience for us to be at the state tournament," Riverton assistant coach Scott Fabricus said. "We have a lot of returning 11-year-olds. It was a good experience for the 12-year-olds. We had a lot of fun and played good baseball. We played well enough at districts to get a spot at state."

Riverton also qualified in 2011 for the final-four state tournament.

"It's a huge deal," said Fisher about Riverton making the state tournament. "When you look at the teams that we were competing against at state Laramie and Cody play a lot of games outside of state to prepare for these tournaments. We are like a summer league team. We were able to compete with them.

Gillette played Laramie on Friday afternoon in a consolation game to move into the title game. The winner will have to beat Cody twice to win the championship. Laramie has won the last six state Little League titles. Cody downed Riverton last week in the district title game.

"Cody is a good team," Fabricus said. "They play good defense. They have excellent hitting. Cody put in a lot of work this year in winter baseball."

The winner of the state tournament qualifies for the Western Region tournament in San Bernardino, Calif.

Gillette 9, Riverton 6

(Thursday)

Gillette came out swinging against Riverton starter Dillon Fabricus in the first inning.

Gillette scored one run on an RBI single and loaded the bases. Fabricus ended the inning on a strikeout. Riverton took the lead on a two-run single from Kobe Matsen.

In the top of the second, Gillette pushed four runs across home plate for a 4-2 lead.

"We were never out of the game," Fisher said. "If we would have been hitting, then we would have been a lot better position at the end of the game."

Riverton committed two errors in the frame, and Gillette produced a two-run triple.

In the top of the third, Riverton's Matt Fisher walked. Jaren Draper singled, and Ridge McCoy smacked a two-run triple.

Fabricus was lifted in the third inning with Gillette was up 5-4.

"I thought Dillon pitched OK," coach Fabricus said. "He kept us in the game for a couple of innings. He pitched well enough for us to competitive in the game."

McCoy had a short time on the mound, giving up one run in less than an inning.

Draper came on and Gillette scored twice for an 8-4 lead. Riverton scored once in the fourth inning to make it a 8-5 game. Gillette increased its cushion to 9-5 on a error by Riverton.

In the top of the sixth inning, Riverton's Dalton Lassiter and Matsen collected back-to-back singles. Peyton Reese had an RBI groundout, but Riverton couldn't get anything more on the scoreboard. "We battled back at the end like we have been doing all year," Fisher said. "They didn't give up."

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