(South Pass City, Wyo.) – The 2014 Gold Rush Days Vintage Base Ball Tournament went the distance Sunday.
Needing just one win to capture its first ever title in the 14 year-old tournament, South Pass City was hammered 15-1 in the first championship game played under a steady drizzle and then battled Lander over six scoreless innings in the decider before the scoring drought ended. Unfortunately for the home team, Lander defended its championship with a gutsy performance and took the team title for the fifth consecutive year, and ninth overall, with a 2-0 victory. The title game featured a 10 minute-long rain delay in the 3rd inning before skies cleared.
Lander needed three straight victories to grab the title and they started early in the day with a 9-3 win over rival Riverton, a team that had beaten them in the first round 11-7. After an ankle injury in the 8th inning to pitcher Johnny Souza, teammate Johnny Horn came in and silenced the Lander bats, but Riverton could not mount an offensive threat and was eliminated.
In the first championship game, the Lander nine blew the game wide open with a 10 run first inning on eight hits. South Pass City came back and answered with one run in the second inning, but were held scoreless the rest of the way, setting up the second and deciding game. In that contest, Lander scored on three consecutive hits with Eric Baker and Dalton Crane crossing the plate. South Pass City managed two hits in their inning, by Gerald Childers and Owen Salmo with one out to mount a comback, but it was stalled with a line drive out to short and a ground-out to end the game.
The offensive player of the tournament was Lander’s Brian Oland, who smacked six home runs in the tournament.