May 30, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Phillies of the Riverton Little League baseball Major division have produced an early record of 6-2 to sit first at the halfway point of the season.
The Rockies stand at 3-3-1. The Twins are third, putting together a 3-4 mark.
The Dodgers are up to 3-4, while the Braves check in at 2-4-1.
The league is for 11-12-year-olds.
"It has been a good year so far," Phillies manager Scott Fabricus said. "We are blessed with two really strong pitchers. It comes down to pitching."
Hayden Wempen and Dillon Fabricus are the top two pitchers on the Phillies.
"They have both thrown hard and a lot of strikes," manager Fabricus said.
The Phillies edged the Twins 6-1 Wednesday night at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex.
Wempen recorded 13 strikeouts and gave up three hits. He didn't have any walks in the six-inning game.
"Hayden is a big, strong kid," Fabricus said. "He has a lot of gas. He is overpowering people."
A couple of weeks ago, Fabricus said Wempen struck out 16 batters in one game.
The league is playing a 16-game league schedule.
"We have several top-flight pitchers in the league," Fabricus said. "On any given night, if you have those kids squared off you can have some good games. We have some good strong 12-year-olds and good 11-year-olds. It's a pretty well-balanced league."
The Rockies started out the season on a three-game winning streak.
"We are doing fine," Rockies manager Travis Draper said. "We are just in a little bit of slump. Hopefully, we will get back on track this week."
The Rockies will be playing five games in seven days.
"The kids love it," Draper said. "They are coming to practice and are working hard."
Cubs 4, Braves 3
In the other game on Wednesday night, the Cubs outlasted the Braves 4-3 in extra innings.
"It was a really good game," Cubs manager Jamie Frazier said.
Peyton Rees started out pitching for the Cubs. He went five innings. Cody Frazier threw the last two.
Rees and Frazier reached base on the final at-bat with singles in the seventh inning. Cam Schoening drove in the game-winner on a hit to the outfield.
"There has a been a mixture of low-scoring games," Frazier said.
In an exception to that trend, the Cubs beat the Rockies 20-5 last week.
"It has been great so far," Riverton Little League president Jason Muehler said. "The teams are evenly matched. The games have been very well played."
The pace will pick up for the Major league division in June after school gets out.
The league will have doubleheaders on Mondays and Fridays. The first game will start at 6 p.m. The second game goes at 8 p.m.
"Pitching always becomes an issue," Muehler said. "When we start playing a lot more doubleheaders, we will start getting more people pitching. The kids are excited to play more baseball. I love baseball under the lights, and I think that kids do too."
The postseason tournament will be played at the end of June.
"Across the board in the Major division, everybody is vying for a good position," Muehler said.
Little League Major
White Sox, 1-0
Blue Jays, 0-1-1
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