Jun 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Phillies and the Rockies secured berths in the Riverton Little League major division baseball championship game with semifinal victories on Tuesday night.
The Phillies eliminated the Dodgers 16-5, and the Rockies held off the Twins 11-9 at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex. The two games were played under the lights.
The division is for players ages 11-12.
"The Dodgers had several players that were injured or didn't play," Phillies manager Scott Fabricus said. "They were a little bit under the gun. They had a couple of kids that came up from the minors. That played to our advantage."
The Phillies won the regular season title. The Rockies are the No. 2 seed.
"It has been close all year with the Twins ," Rockies coach Brad Matsen said. "They are a well-coached team. They know how to play fundamental baseball. They gave us a run."
The title game is 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ron Saban Complex.
"It will be a tough game," Matsen said. "We are short on pitchers. We are going to be seeing big old Hayden Wempen. He is probably the hardest thrower in the state right now."
Fabricus said the key for the title game will be pitching.
"Pitching and defense wins it," Fabricus said. "We are a good defensive team that scores timely runs."
Phillies 16, Dodgers 5
"We haven't been a very good team offensively," Fabricus said.
"We have struggled to put up runs. Our record was because of our pitching."
That changed on Tuesday night vs. the Dodgers.
The Phillies were on fire against the Dodgers right from the start scoring three times in the first inning.
Dillon Fabricus struck out the side for the Phillies in the second inning.
The Phillies crossed home plate four more times in the second.
Wempen blasted a solo home run.
"Hayden is a big, strong kid," Fabricus said. "It was a good home run."
Down 16-0, the Dodgers scored five runs in the final inning.
Wempen came in to get the last out of the game.
Fabricus paced the Phillies with two hits.
Cody Frazier had a double for the Dodgers.
"I was kind of worried about Cody lighting it up," Fabricus said.
Rockies 11, Twins 9
The Twins were all over the Rockies in the first inning, putting up four runs.
The Rockies brought Kobe Matsen to the mound in the first inning to keep help avoid a blowout.
"I thought that we started off a little rocky," coach Matsen said.
"We should have been out of an inning long ago. We had three or four errors in the first inning."
The Rockies knotted the score at 4-4 and scored six more runs in the third inning for a 10-4 advantage.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Twins scored two more runs.
Matsen reached the 85-pitch limit in the inning with two outs and had to leave the mound.
"I think that Kobe has been playing really well," coach Matsen said. "He has been playing traveling baseball. He has done a good job pitching this year.
Jaren Draper recorded the final out for the Rockies to clinch the victory.
"Jaren has had a sore elbow," Matsen said. "We didn't want to bring him in. He had his option. We just needed to get one out. He did his job."
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