Jul 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Riverton Raiders used the arm of Steven Reinig to produce an 8-5 win over the Rawlins Generals in the first game of the American Legion baseball district tournament in Laramie.
Evanston downed the Raiders 15-3 in the second game of the double-elimination tournament. Riverton played Rawlins on Friday afternoon. The winner clinches a spot to the state tournament. With the win, Evanston advanced into the state bracket. Games in the postseason this year for American Legion baseball are nine innings.
"The win over Rawlins gives us confidence leading into the game on Friday," Riverton manager Brady Beers said. "We have been off and on against Rawlins this year. We came out Thursday and we played well. We beat their best pitcher."
Green River and Laramie are playing a best two-out-of three series for either the No. 1 or No. 2 seeds for state.
Riverton entered the postseason after splitting with the Casper Drillers in its final regular season games last Saturday at Roy Peck Field.
"We just need to play good solid defense," Beers said. "We need to work our bats the same way that we did Thursday. If our bats stay there, it will just come down to defense."
The Raiders will use either Ryan Axthelm or Devin Matsen on the mound in the must-win game vs. the Generals.
"Those guys will be key players for us," Beers said.
Riverton 8, Rawlins 5
Reinig went seven strong innings for the Raiders. The right-hander went into the eighth inning before Beers had to pull him out. Reinig went 126 pitches in the district game.
"I thought that was the best pitching performance he has had in his life," Beers said.
"He threw just a lot of strikes. That is what allowed him to go deep into the game."
Axthelm registered 15 pitches over two innings of work to get the save.
"Ryan came in and really cleaned things up for us," Beers said.
Riverton scored one run in the second and third innings on RBI bunt singles from Rusty Davis and Baylor Beers.
The Raiders opened the game up with four runs in the eighth inning.
Beers and Davis had RBI singles in the inning.
Rawlins had a three-run eighth inning to bring the score back to 7-5. Riverton scored one run in the top of the eighth inning.
"We made a couple of errors in the game that hurt us," manager Beers said.
Evanston 15, Riverton 3
"Evanston had their best pitcher at the game against us," Beers said.
Evanston had long innings in the fifth and sixth frames.
Evanston scored six in the fifth inning and five more in the sixth.
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