May 16, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorRiverton went 2-2 at a tournament in Green River to begin the new campaign.
The Riverton Raiders lifted the lid on a brand new American Legion baseball season over the weekend, emerging with 2-2 split, including wins against Evanston, 7-6, and the host Green River Knights, 10-3.
In Saturday's opener against Evanston, the Outlaws scored a single run in each of the first two frames off Riverton starter Dalton Baldes, while the Raiders were retired in order in the first three innings.
The Riverton bats awakened in the fourth inning, when Alex Fabricus doubled home Cody Frazier, who had drawn a leadoff walk to halve the deficit.
Dillon Fabricus then tripled to left to bring home Alex Fabricus and the game was tied at 2-2.
The Raiders were just warming up their offense, plating another five runs in the top of the fifth.
Brock Hinkle led off with a walk, followed by base hits by Matt Fisher and Baldes, taking advantage of three walks and a hit batter in taking a 7-2 advantage.
Evanston battled back late with four unanswered runs, but Jereko Martinez and Alex Fabricus closed the deal in relief of Baldes to secure victory.
Dillon Fabricus was 3-for-4 to lead the Raiders' offense.
Riverton 10, Green River 3
In Saturday's late game, the Raiders defeated the host Green River Knights by a final score of 10-3.
Fisher, Dillon Fabricus, Baldes and Dalton Lassiter all had multi-hit games for Riverton, highlighted by a six-run sixth inning.
The Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Raiders answered right back in their half of the inning on a Fisher double which drove in a pair of runs to deadlock the contest at 2-2.
Riverton added two more markers in the bottom of the fourth before the sixth-inning explosion put the game away.
Jackson 6, Riverton 0
On Sunday, the Raiders faced the Jackson Giants and were shut out.
Jackson bombed a pair of home runs as part of an 11-hit attack.
Riverton could muster only four hits on the game.
Rock Springs 8, Riverton 7
In the weekend finale, the Raiders took the lead on Rock Springs, 1-0, in the top of the first when shortstop Kyren Higgs walked, then scored on third baseman Cody Frazier's single.
Rock Springs tied it up in the bottom of the first, then took the lead with a pair of runs in the second, only for Riverton to once again tie it up at 4-4 in the third before Fisher and Higgs plated two more in the fifth inning.
Alex Fabricus then homered to left in the sixth, and the Raiders took a 7-6 lead, only for Rock Springs to double home two in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin.
According to Raiders manager Troy Brown, the weekend provided a learning experience for his club.
"It was a good lesson for us," said Brown. "The players got to see how we can do well when we do what we're supposed to, but also what happens when we don't."
Brown praised his pitching staff -- starters Baldes, Fisher, Lange and Dillon Fabricus, as well as relievers Martinez and Lassiter.
"All of them did a great job," said Brown. "We got good performances from our starters and relievers."
Brown was left to rue wasted opportunities on Sunday, which led to both losses, including 19 runners left on base in the Rock Springs game, he said.
"The games we lost we shouldn't have. We just didn't do a good enough job of hitting the ball," said Brown. "We need better at-bats and more patience at the plate."
Brown said tournaments provide him an opportunity to see what his entire roster has to offer in order to have everything in order for when the games really count.
"Conference games are what matter most," he said. "We use games like these to build confidence."
Riverton (2-2) hosts a doubleheader against Green River on Wednesday at Roy Peck Field. Game times are 5 and 7 p.m.
Riverton 0 0 0 2 5 0 0 -- 7
Evanston 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 -- 6
Riverton - Fisher 1-3, Frazier 2-2, A. Fabricus 1-3 2B, Washington 1-3, D. Fabricus 3-4 3B, Baldes 2-4, Lassiter 0-2, Muehler 1-3, Hinkle 0-3.
Evanston - McDonald 2-3, Wicks 0-3, Mitchell 2-4 HR, Hicks 1-3, Lloyd 1-4, Toby 2-4, Perriman 1-2, Gross 2-3.
Green River 2 0 0 0 0 1 -- 3
Riverton 0 2 0 2 0 6 -- 10
Green River - Munoz 1-2, Kelly 1-2, Hopkins 0-3, Gelinas 0-2, Beutel 2-3, Ebert 1-2, Tallaferro 0-3, Sturlaugson 0-3, Schultz 1-1.
Riverton - Fisher 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, Frazier 1-1 2 BB, A. Fabricus 1-4, Washington 0-4, D. Fabricus 2-3 2B, Baldes 2-3 2B, Lassiter 2-3, Lange 1-2, Hinkle 1-2.
Jackson 0 0 1 0 3 2 0 -- 6
Riverton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Jackson - Hollysweet 1-5, Ellingson 1-3 HR, Fisher 3-4 HR, Campbell 1-3 2B, Feus 2-4, Bruno 1-2, McHugh 0-2, Christensen 0-4, Walker 1-2 2B, Ashurtz 1-2 2B.
Riverton - Higgs 0-3, Frazier 0-3, Washington 0-3, Baldes 2-2 2B, D. Fabricus 1-3, Muehler 1-3, Martinez 0-3, Hinkle 0-3.
Riverton 1 1 2 0 2 1 -- 7
Rock Springs 1 2 0 1 0 4 -- 8
Riverton - Fisher 1-1 2 BB HBP, Higgs 1-2 2 BB, Frazier 1-2 2 BB HBP, D. Fabricus 1-1, Washington 0-2 2 BB, Baldes 1-3, Lassiter 0-3, A. Fabricus 1-3 HR, Lange 1-2, 2 BB.
Rock Springs - Lucero 1-3 2B, Hamblin 2-4, Cain 3-4 2B 3B, Hamby 0-3, Hymes 1-3, Murphy 1-3, Grossnickle 2-2 2 2B, Martinez 1-3, Tepera 2-3.
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