It’s not how you start but how you finish that matters in athletics. The Riverton Raiders are on the cusp of a late season taper that should propel them far into the post-season. The Raiders rolled to a 3-1 weekend at the Bolln’ Wood Bat Tournament in Douglas, taking the championship via a 10-8 win over Torrington. Earlier in the day they edged Powell 7-6.
Riverton opened the tournament Friday evening at 7:30 pm with a 7-0 shutout of host Douglas behind a solid pitching performance from Darrick DeVries.
The only blemish on the weekend came early Saturday with a 13-4 loss to the Green River Knights, a team Riverton has dominated this season.
In the opener DeVries went the distance, spreading six Douglas hits throughout the seventh inning contest and striking out six.
Offensively, Nathan Hutchison set the tone early. Batting third in the lineup, Hutchison ripped a home run over the left field fence for an early 1-0 Riverton lead. The Raiders added two more in the third, three in the fifth and an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Hunter Hauck had the other extra base hit for the Raiders in the third, reaching second on a double, before advancing to third and eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
Against Green River Hutchison had another round tripper, and Hauck drilled a double, but it was Green River that had the timing at the plate. The Knights ripped a dozen hits, four of them doubles, and one a triple in an offensive onslaught in the bottom of the fourth inning that blew open an otherwise close ballgame.
The Knights tallied eight runs jumping from 5-3 to 13-3 in the process, with many of those coming on a host of Riverton errors. It was they type of meltdown best forgotten on a long season.
A classic ensued against the Powell Pioneers. It’s a long way from Powell to Douglas, but the Pioneer made the trip worthwhile in a losing effort to the Raiders 7-6.
Powell built an early 3-0 lead on the Raiders, but a third inning rally, paced by Hutchison’s third home run of the tournament, followed by singles from Hauck and Brayden Baker put Riverton back in contention at 3-2.
Riverton took the lead in the fifth when Jorey Anderson walked, and Powell intentionally walked Hutchison to put runners on first and second. Hauck came through with a single that scored Anderson, and Baker hit another single, this one a two-RBI shot that scored Hutchison and Hauck lifting Riverton to a 5-4 lead.
Powell tied the game at five, and it stayed that way until the eighth inning. In extra innings, American Legion rules place a runner on second base to start the extra frame. Jorey Anderson started at second, and Powell again intentionally walked Hutchison. It proved to be another error by the Pioneer coaching staff as Hauck ripped a line drive double to deep center that scored by Anderson and Hutchison for a 7-5 Riverton advantage.
Powell managed one run in their half of the eighth before Branson Saltsgaver and Noseep caught fly balls to end the game and send Riverton to the championship.
The title game against Torrington was a bit anticlimactic. The Raiders built a big lead, 9-3, only to see it evaporate behind a late Torrington rally that closed the gap to 9-8.
The game was marred by a dozen combined errors, with Riverton committing five, and Torrington 7. It was evidence of a long, hot weekend of baseball with a pair of tired teams swinging away at each other.
The Raiders prevailed 10-8 to take home the title.
Riverton 1 0 2 0 3 0 1 – 7 4 2
Douglas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 6 4
Riverton Raiders – Joel Bever 0-4, Jorey Anderson 1-3 S, Nathan Hutchison 1-3 HR, Hunter Hauck 1-3 2B, Carter Noseep 0-2, Brayden Baker 0-2, Beau Anderson 1-3 S, Branson Saltsgaver 0-4, Christopher Reinig 0-1, Darrick DeVries 0-0, Bryce Mason 0-0. Totals 4-25
Douglas – Carson Selk 0-4, Teigen Boyson 0-3, Lance Kejr 1-3 S, Jacob Russell 0-2, Alex Virtue 1-3 S, Cameryn Spence 1-3 S, Ace Cathcart 2-3 2S, Chase Holler 1-3 S, Luis Lepe 0-2, Malachy Lehnen 0-2. Totals 6-27
WP: Darrick DeVries (98) 6H, 6K, 0BB
LP: Carson Selk: (105) 4H, 4K, 3BB, Jacob Russell (4) 0H, 1K, 0BB
Riverton 0 0 3 0 1 – 4 6 5
Green River 0 2 3 8 x – 13 12 2
Riverton Raiders – Bever 0-2, Anderson 1-2 S, Hutchison 1-3 HR, Hauck 1-3 2B, Noseep 0-3, Baker 0-3, Anderson 1-2 S, Ryan Cox 1-1, Reinig 1-1 2B, Mason 0-0. Totals 6-20.
Green River Knights – Marcos Molina 2-4 S, 2B, Dilyn Smith 1-4 S, Jax Peterson 3-4 2S,2B, Ashton Eldridge 1-3 S, Quentin Liebelt 1-2 S, Jace Paoli 3-3 S, 2B, 3B, Lander Welch 1-2 S, Skyler Lee 0-3, Bejamin Lail 0-2. Totals 12-27
WP: Skyler Lee (79) 6H, 1K, 3BB
LP: Brayden Baker (74) 8H, 4K, 2BB, Hunter Hauck (27) 2H, 0K, 2BB, Joel Bever (5) 2H, 0K, 0BB
Riverton 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 2 – 7 9 1
Powell 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 – 6 9 0
Riverton Raiders – Bever 1-4 S, Anderson 0-3, Hutchison 2-2 S, HR, Hauck 3-4 2S, 2B, Noseep 1-3 S, Baker 1-4 S, Anderson 0-4, Ryan Cox 1-4 S, Saltsgaver 0-1, Mason 0-0. Totals 9-28
Powell Pioneers – Cade Queen 2-4 S, 2B, Jhett Schwann 1-3 S, Aidan Wantulok 0-5, Trey Stenerson 3-4 2S, 2B, Aiden Greewald 0-2, Dalton Worstell 0-3, Nathan Feller 1-3 S, Jacob Gibson 0-3, Keaton Rowton 0-1, Ethan Welch 2-3 2S. Totals 9-31
WP: Ryan Cox (96) 8H, 2K, 2BB, Hunter Hauck (38) 1H, 3K, 0BB
LP: Aiden Greenwald (65) 6H, 3K, 1BB, Cade Queen (41) 3H, 1K, 0BB
Riverton 1 2 0 1 5 1 0 – 10 11 5
Torrington 0 1 1 1 5 0 0 – 8 8 7
Riverton Raiders – Bever 2-5 2S , Anderson 1-2 S, Hutchison 2-3 S, 2B, Hauck 1-3 S, Noseep 0-3 , Baker 1-4 S, Anderson 1-4 S, Saltsgaver 1-3 S, Reinig 2-2 2S, Mason 0-1. Totals 11-19
Torrington Tigers – Aidyn Saucedo 1-3 S, Austin Short 0-2, Ben Firminhac 1-3 S, Ayden Desmond 2-4 2S, Deagan Keith 0-2, Ryder Hackbarth 2-3 2S, Bryce Haver 2-3 2S, Matthew Hellus 0-4, Landre Greiman 0-2, Mac Hibber 0-1. Totals 8-27
WP: Christopher Reinig (43) 3H, 1K, 2BB, Beau Anderson (47) 3H, 1K, 2BB, Jorey Anderson (12) 1H, 0k, 2BB, Nathan Hutchison (28) 1H, 2K, 1BB
LP: Austin Short (56) 3H, 2K, 1BB, Bryce Haver (35) 4H, 0K, 3BB, Deagan Keith (27) 4H, 1K, 0BB