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Volunteers will make or break big Little League tournament
Hayden Wempen is a top hitter and pitcher for the Riverton Little League 11-12-year-old all-stars preparing for the District tournament later this month at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex. Volunteers are being sought. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Volunteers will make or break big Little League tournament

Jul 5, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Riverton Little League president Jason Muehler needs the help from the community.

Muehler is preparing to host the district tournament July 17-20 at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex.

Riverton will be hosting 16 different teams in the two age divisions.

The major league division is for 11-12-year-olds.

The minor division is for ages 9-10.

Muehler has put in countless hours down at the baseball parks already this summer.

The league did a fantastic job putting on a good show for the Little League postseason tournament last week. It was capped off by a great fireworks show on Thursday, June 27, after the two postseason championship games.

Muehler isn't alone doing volunteer work.

He had some outstanding coaches this year in both the two divisions. The coaches have the passion for the game, and they want everybody to taste success on the baseball diamond.

I also learned its a must to have scorekeepers -- good ones.

That is a key part of the league keep things well organized.

The games can't start unless there is a person doing the scorebook and another person in charge of the pitch count under rules put in by Little League.

That is a two-person job, and it's not always easy to find people willing to do it.

The umpire's job is rarely easy, but it's a vital one. It has to be tough to get behind the plate and quickly decide if the pitch is a ball or a strike.

I have never called a game from behind the plate, and I know I wouldn't last. I have a lot of respect for the people who volunteer their time to youth baseball.

Another important part of running a tournament is having a good concession stand.

Riverton Little League had a busy stand last week as fans got thirsty while watching the kids play outside in the hot weather conditions.

There is still time for the Riverton community to get behind Little League. It's a big deal to host a tournament in July.

As a former Riverton Little League player, I'm confident Muehler will be able to put on a great tournament for the community to be proud of.

On the field, Riverton isn't lacking in the talent department on either all-star team announced last week. There were some hard choices in putting the rosters together. Picking the all-star teams is never easy thing to do.

Both teams have the pitching to make a long run this year in the postseason.

Scott Fabricus and Jim Hinkle guide the teams.

Fabricus is the manager for the older team, while Hinkle has been asked to be the in charge of the youngsters.

I like the idea that the Little League officials have decided to make the district tournament a true double-elimination bracket. The format will test the teams' strength in the pitching department with all the different pitch count rules.

Riverton has the depth with a number of good arms and also has a talented infield. The outfield always is a question mark for the postseason play because players often switch positions for the postseason.

The only thing that is left is for volunteers to get behind Riverton Little League.

I know I can't wait for the week of all the games. The tournament has the makings of something special.

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