The Riverton Raiders B team opened their season with an entertaining nine-inning win over a tired Green River Knights squad at Roy Peck Field Sunday afternoon. The Raiders prevailed 9-7 after the Knights rolled into a 6-5 lead in the top of the fourth inning erasing an early 5-1 Riverton advantage.
Branson Saltsgaver opened for the Raiders, yielding just four hits in the opening four innings on 32 pitches, but Green River found the rhythm in the fourth, scoring four runs off Saltsgaver.
Blake Gantenbein came on in relief with no outs and the bases loaded. The Green River batter ripped Gantenbein’s first pitch straight back at him. Gantenbein caught the ball, wheeled to first base and connected with Ryan Cox for a double-play.
Cox had a chance to pull off a triple-play but the shortstop and second basemen were off the bag when the Green River runner dived back onto the base.
Green River scored on a passed ball for their only lead of the game at 6-5, before Kaelem Winters picked up a ground ball at second and threw to Cox for the final out of the inning.
Riverton tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Dane Cox, Brayden Baker, and Jules Spradlin all connected on singles to load the bases. Cox tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Beau Anderson at 6-6, and Baker made the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
The Raiders added runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth for a 9-6 lead and Green River managed a single run in the top of the ninth before the game ended.
The contest was originally scheduled as a two seven-inning, double-headers but the Knights were in Wheatland on Saturday before a long bus ride home to Green River, and decided to play just one nine-inning game since the team had traveled so much in a 24-hour period
Green River Knights B 1 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 – 7 11 0
Riverton Raiders B 3 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 X – 9 18 2
Riverton –Jackson Larsen 2-4 S 2B, Dane Cox 1-2 S, Carter Noseep 0-2, Ryan Florence 0-2, Brayden Baker 1-4 3B, Ryan Cox 0-3, Jules Spradlin 1-3 S, Beau Anderson 3-5 2S 2B, Matthew Keen-House 0-1, Branson Saltsgaver 2-2 2S, Blake Gantenbein 1-1 S, Garret Jackson 1-2 S, Kaelem Winters 0-2, Coltor Heikkila 2-3 2S, Hughes 0-2. Totals 18-41
Green River – Smith 0-3, Kovach 1-5 S, Akin 2-4 2S, Hartman 1-3, Kovick 3-5 3S, Brown 1-4 S, Hamel 1-4 S, Fuller 1-2 S, Handon 1-4 2B, Poignee 0-3. Totals 11-37
WP – Branson Saltsgaver (32) 4H, 0K, 2BB, Blake Gantenbein (34) 2H, 2K, 0BB, Ryan Cox (35) 1H, 2K, 2BB, Jackson Larsen (19) 1H, 0K, 0BB, Christopher Reinig (47) 3H, 2K, 2BB
LP – Smith (102) 14H, 7K, 3BB, Fuller (67) 4H, 6K, 3BB