Jul 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Lander 9- and 10-year-old all-star baseball team started the state Little League baseball tournament Wednesday in Laramie with a 16-6 victory against Gillette.
The game was stopped in the fourth inning because of the 10-run rule.
The win advanced Lander into a Thursday afternoon showdown with Laramie, which Laramie won (see related story).
Laramie won a 16-14 game vs. Cody on Wednesday. Laramie won the 9-10 state title last year.
Laramie moves into the championship game planned for Saturday, while the Lander team still could reach the title game.
"We know that Laramie is a solid team," Lander manager Tom Massey said. "They have some pretty decent pitchers, nothing that we can't hit. They do throw a lot of curveballs."
Lander 16, Gillette 6
Gillette had control issues on the mound from the start. Gillette walked the first three Lander batters of the game.
"They had to make a pitching change after the fourth batter," Massey said.
Lander took advantage, scoring six runs in the first inning. Gillette's pitcher walked five batters and hit one before getting three outs.
"We started to hit the ball in the second inning," Massey said.
Lander built a 13-0 lead after the first two innings.
"Things were looking good," Massey said.
Lander slowed down a little bit in the third inning when Gillette scored five runs.
"We had a couple of plays when they should have been outs," Massey said.
Lander then built a 16-5 lead.
Lander recorded the final out when third baseman Jack Sweeney fielded a ground ball and tagged a Gillette runner.
On the mound, Lander went with several different pitchers to keep them all under the 20 pitch count rule.
Ty Massey, Jaren Calkins, Connor Carey, Sweeney and Ridge Barrett all pitched for Lander.
All the Lander pitchers will be available to throw against Laramie in the semifinal game.
Results from 9- and 10-year-old state tournament
Game 1 -- Lander 16, Gillette, 6
Game 2 -- Laramie 16, Cody 14
Game 3 -- Cody beat Gillette Nationals
Game 4 -- Laramie 13, Lander 3
Game 5 -- Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 6 (championship game) -- Winner Game 4. Winner Game 5, 10 a.m.
Game 7 -- (If necessary) if each team from Game 6 has one loss.
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