Raiders finish second at stateAug 1, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Riverton finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, including an 11-1 loss to Cody in the championship game.
It was a very good season for the Riverton Raiders this year.
However, Sunday wasn't a very good day.
After a campaign which saw them win 36 games and advance to the state championship game, the Raiders lost 11-1 to Cody to finish runners-up at the American Legion A tournament in Cowley.
In fact, five of the Raiders' 18 losses this season were at the hands of the Cubs, including both of their defeats over the weekend.
For a while on Sunday, it looked as if it might be Riverton's day.
Following a Brodie Roden groundout to open the game in the top of the first, four consecutive Raiders reached base via free passes -- Kyren Higgs, Cody Frazier, Alex Fabricus and Josiah Washington -- bringing home the first run of the contest for a 1-0 lead without benefit of a hit.
However, Cubs starter Jordan Wasia quickly overcame his early wildness and retired the side having allowed only the one marker. He walked just one more batter in his six innings of work, allowing only one hit.
Despite not cashing in for more than just the one run in the inning, Riverton manager Troy Brown wasn't concerned, he said.
"We had plenty of scoring chances in the game," said Brown. "We just didn't hit the ball the way we're capable of."
On the other side of the mound, Riverton starter Jereko Martinez pitched well enough, allowing only four runs on six hits in five innings, but he also issued five bases-on-balls.
According to Brown, Martinez was a revelation on the mound all week.
"Jereko did a good job for us in the tournament," said Brown. "He pitched really well."
A porous Raiders defense was costly, as only four of Cody's 11 runs on the game were earned, the result of five Riverton errors.
"Our defense is definitely something we have to work on for next season," said Brown.
"But, as the game went on, their pitcher never got behind and was able to throw his pitches."
Cody equalized in the bottom of the first on a Cooper Brown RBI single with two outs, but Martinez would bear down and retire the Cubs without any further damage.
In all, Martinez threw 107 pitches on the day before leaving the game with only a 4-1 deficit and being relieved by Dillon Lange to begin the bottom of the sixth.
Late Cody surge
That's where it all went horribly wrong for the Raiders, quashing their hopes of requiring a rematch later in the day for the state title.
Cody plated four runs in the frame, then added another three in the seventh, and the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Alex Fabricus's sixth-inning single ended up being the only Riverton hit of the game, as the Cubs kept the Raiders' usually-potent bats quiet, ending their season in the process.
In the aftermath, Brown had a distinct message for his players.
"Cody was definitely on a mission this week," said Brown. "Nobody could do anything to stop them and we just ran into a buzz saw. That'll be us next season."
Riverton 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 x x -- 1
Cody 1 0 1 1 1 4 3 x x -- 11
Riverton - Roden, 0-4; Higgs, 0-2; Frazier, 0-1; A. Fabricus, 1-2; Washington, 0-2; D. Fabricus, 0-3; Baldes, 0-3; Lassiter, 0-3; Fisher, 0-2.
Cody - Wasia, 3-5, 3B; K. Brown, 2-2; Grenz, 1-3, 2B, RBI; C. Brown, 1-4, RBI; McLeod, 1-4, 2B, RBI; Price, 0-3; Polley, 1-3, 2 RBI; Blatt, 1-2, RBI; Beaudrie, 1-4, 2B, RBI.