Jul 14, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorRiverton's 15-and-under double-defending state champions are attempting to defend their crown in Casper.
For the past two seasons, Riverton's Babe Ruth 15-and-under all-stars have reigned supreme across the state of Wyoming, claiming championships both seasons with a loaded lineup of players who have since moved on to the next level of local baseball.
So, when this year's all-star squad was named, there were plenty of fresh faces on the roster, including players who had just moved up to Babe Ruth from Little League.
All of a sudden, players who were accustomed to playing on a smaller field had to quickly adjust to 90 feet between bases and perhaps the biggest switch of all -- the full 60 feet, six inches from the mound to the plate.
For pitchers, the difference is more stark than for hitters, although both ends must get used to the increased distance.
One player who hasn't been effected by this is Blake Dale, who has had an excellent rookie campaign coming off a majors Little League championship last season and that success has carried over into the postseason.
Dale is currently hitting .333 in five games for the all-stars, while also shining on the mound, having pitched a no-hitter in a 10-0 victory against Newcastle in Wednesday's tournament opener in Casper.
However, other players have certainly excelled, as well, not the least of which is Kaden DeWitt, who leads the club with a .500 batting average, seven stolen bases and six runs batted in, while Tyler McKiernan (.375) and Dalten Leach (.333) have also hit well.
In Thursday's 14-4 victory against Casper, Derick Lange, DeWitt and Jace LeClair combined on the mound to shut down opposing bats, with LeClair striking out the side in order to close the game.
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