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Riverton 11-12s bounce back; Lander 9-10s still alive at state Little League

Jul 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Hayden Wempen and Jaren Draper combined to throw a two-hitter for the Riverton 11-and 12-year-old all-star baseball team on Thursday in a 6-1 victory over Sheridan to stay alive in the double-elimination state tournament in Laramie.

Wempen controlled Sheridan with nine strikeouts in five innings of work. He gave up two hits and had three walks. Wempen was required to leave the mound after five innings of work when he reached 85 pitches. He won't be allowed to pitch the rest of the state tournament for Riverton because of his pitch count vs. Sheridan. Draper threw a scoreless sixth inning.

Sheridan was eliminated from the state bracket with an 0-2 record.

"Hayden threw well for us," Riverton manager Scott Fabricus said. "His No. 1 pitch was his fastball. They never did catch up to it. They were a little bit behind it."

Riverton now plays Gillette on Friday night with the winner going to the championship game. Gillette lost to Cody on Thursday. Riverton would need to win three more times to earn the state title. Gillette edged Riverton 15-14 on Wednesday in the opening round of the tournament.

Cody locked up a spot in the championship game on Saturday.

"It still comes down to controlling the game with your pitching and playing good defense," Fabricus said.

"Our pitching was good against Sheridan, and our defense was good. We just need to continue that."

Lander 9-10s fall

In the 9-and 10-year-old state tournament, Laramie scored 11 runs in the to stun Lander 13-3. The game was stopped because of the 10-run rule. Lander played Cody on Friday afternoon for a spot against Laramie in the championship game.

Cody eliminated Gillette 16-6 from the double-elimination tournament.

Riverton 6, Sheridan 1

Riverton scored two runs on two Sheridan errors in the top of the second for a 2-1 advantage. In the top of the third, Draper singled, and Kobe Matsen had an RBI double to extend the lead to 3-1. Wempen knocked in a run on a groundout to make it 4-1.

The teams traded scoreless innings until Riverton added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth.

Chase Garcia walked, and teammate Peyton Rees had an RBI single for a 5-1 score. James Hampton delivered an RBI single for the five-run cushion.

"When you go from 4-1 to 6-1, that gives you a little more comfort," Fabricus said. "We have some good hitters at the bottom of the order. They came through for us."

In the final at-bat for Sheridan, Draper recorded three consecutive outs to secure the victory.

"Jaren threw harder than he did on Wednesday," Fabricus said. "He is getting more comfortable. That gives us a lot of hope for Friday."

Laramie 13, Lander 3

The start was a good one for Lander against the host team of the 9-10 state tournament. Lander was up 2-0 before Laramie's Garrett Dodd deadlocked the score on a two-run homer.

Lander went back ahead 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning when Jonny Kulow walked and later scored on a wild pitch.

The wheels came off for Lander in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The big blow was a grand slam for Dodd putting the score to 12-3. Laramie scored one more run in the inning to shut the game down and advance to the title game.

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