Jun 9, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Rawlins Generals scored four times in the top of the sixth inning to edge the Riverton Raiders 5-2 in the opener of the Roy Peck Memorial Wood Bat Tournament.
Rawlins had swept the Raiders in a doubleheader 12-5 and 19-6 Wednesday night in Riverton.
The games in the tournament are at Roy Peck Field. There is a two-hour time limit in the games, except for the championship contest.
Riverton turned things around and beat Douglas 9-8 in the final game of the day Saturday to remain in the hunt for a spot in the title game. Riverton scored four runs in the sixth inning to get back in the game. Ryan Axthelm and Devin Matsen both pitched in the victory. Josiah Washington paced the Raiders with three hits. The win was the first one on the home diamond of the season.
"This morning, I thought that we played much better than we did this past Wednesday," Riverton manager Brady Beers said. "We had two or three errors that really killed us in the first game. We hit the ball a lot. We just hit it right at people. We didn't sit back at the plate. That is something that we have to work on."
Green River slipped by Douglas 6-3 in eight innings in the second game of the tournament.
"Wood bats are just fun," Beers said. "With the way metal bats are now, wood bats don't really make a difference on the game. They have downgraded metal bats so far now the wood bats don't make a negative impact on how a ball can travel or how you hit a ball."
Riverton plays at 10:30 a.m. Sunday vs. Green River. The top two teams advance to play in the title game at 3:30 p.m. The third-place game is at 1 p.m.
Rawlins 5, Riverton 2
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Riverton knotted the game up at 1-1 when Brayden Draper was hit by a pitch.
With the bases loaded, Steven Reinig hit a bullet to center field only to see Cody Palmer make a diving catch to end the inning and keep the contest tied.
"That was kind of a disappointing play," Beers said. "I wasn't really expecting that guy to come in and catch the ball. It was a good hit by Steven, but the guy was just in the right spot at the right time."
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Ryan Axthelm reached base with an infield single. Baylor Beers ripped a two-run double to the fence for a 2-1 lead.
Rawlins took the lead for good in the top of the sixth on a couple of errors by Riverton's defense. The Generals crossed home plate four times against Beers.
The right-hander threw more than 100 pitches in the three-run loss. He was lifted for Devin Matsen in the top of the seventh inning.
In the final at-bat for the Raiders, Rawlins recorded the first two outs.
Down to the final out, Josiah Washington singled to keep the game alive, and Sam Plush walked.
Rawlins changed pitchers, with Cody Palmer coming in to get the final out on a ground out.