Jul 21, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe timely hits dropped for the Lander 9- and 10-year-old all-star baseball team in a 9-5 win over Riverton in the district championship game Saturday at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex in Riverton.
Cody edged Riverton 16-15 for the final spot for the state tournament in the last game of the day on Saturday night.
Lander and Cody will represent the district in the state tournament starting Wednesday in Laramie.
Lander also won the district title last year at the same age level.
"It means a lot to win it again," Lander manager Tom Massey said. "Hopefully, we are on the right track getting baseball back in Lander. We want to get American Legion baseball back in Lander. Hopefully, having success at the lower levels will encourage kids to keep playing as they get older."
Lander went a perfect 3-0 in the tournament on its way to the title.
Lander knocked off Powell (24-2) and Green River (12-1) to earn its spot in the title game.
Lander was the only team to post an undefeated mark in the tournament.
"I thought that we played our best ball at the tournament," Massey said. "We jumped on Powell pretty good."
The first two games were stopped early because of the mercy rule.
"We knew that we were going to play six innings Saturday against Riverton," Massey said.
Lander opens the state tournament Wednesday afternoon in Laramie, with the opponent to be announced.
Lander lost to Gillette and Laramie last year at the state tournament.
"We felt like we competed against them," Massey said. "It comes down to throwing strikes and fielding balls that you should make, and have timely hitting."
Gillette and Laramie will be coming from the other district for the second straight year.
"They have a bigger population to draw from," Massey said. "They will have quality pitching."
Lander 9, Riverton 5
"We did pitch pretty well against Riverton," Massey said. "We were around the zone. We didn't have a lot walks."
In the first inning, Lander threw out a Riverton runner at second base to keep it a scoreless game.
"We had some breaks that went our way," Massey said.
Lander struck first in the bottom of the first inning after Jack Sweeney doubled, and Jaren Calkins had an RBI single.
Trey Massey scored before the first inning was finished for a 2-0 advantage.
"The lead was important," manager Massey said. "Riverton has good hitters. Several of the hits were right at us.
We just ended up being at the right spot at the right time."
In the next inning, Trey Massey belted a two-run double to build the cushion to 4-0.
Riverton scored in the top of the third inning when Trey Draper and Damon DeVries scored on wild pitches.
In the bottom of the third, Ridge Barrett put in a two-run single. Calkins knocked in an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-2 lead.
Lander took a commanding 9-2 cushion after the first four innings.
Riverton scored three runs late, but it wasn't enough to pull out the victory.
Massey went 68 pitches before he left his time on the mound.
Ridge Barrett threw 21 pitches. Sweeney put in 31 pitches to finish off Riverton for the victory.
DeVries threw 44 pitches for Riverton. Draper tossed 67 pitches. Tryston Truempler went 22.
"Ridge got a big out," Massey said. "Jack came in and held on there. We got some big plays at the end."
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