Raiders trio makes all-state Legion squadAug 4, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Riverton's Brodie Roden and Dalton Baldes were named first-team, while Alex Fabricus was second-team.
Brodie Roden wasn't even in the Riverton Raiders' starting lineup when the first pitch of the season was thrown back in May.
Roden was still busy racing around ovals for the Riverton Wolverines before he traded one form of red for another, joining the local American Legion baseball club once high school track season ended.
Early on, the rust showed a bit, especially after taking a year off from diamond duty the previous season, but once he shook it free, the sky was certainly the limit for the fleet center fielder.
Roden's perfect blend of power and speed atop the Riverton line-up, along with his stellar defense in center field has earned him a spot on the Wyoming American Legion A first team, along with teammate Dalton Baldes, who was also named to the roster after a vote by coaches across the state.
Riverton's Alex Fabricus received second-team honors.
Roden ended the campaign with a .401 batting average, 10 home runs -- twice as many as anyone else on the squad -- 45 runs batted in, 39 stolen bases and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.212, which also led the club.
Even more remarkable is the fact Roden put those numbers up playing in only 46 of the Raiders' 54 games.
Perhaps Roden's highlight of the season at the plate was on June 4 in a home game against Douglas in which a grand slam brought the Raiders from behind in an eventual 11-5 victory over the Cats.
Roden's most prodigious power display was a three-homer output over as many games from June 22-24, including one in each end of a doubleheader against Lovell.
However, Roden also managed to make it as uncomfortable for opposing hitters as he did from the other end of the distance between the mound and the plate, putting up a 7-2 record with a 3.44 earned-run average and 46 strikeouts.
Baldes was the Raiders' ace on the mound all season, posting a 9-1 record, 2.34 earned-run average and 90 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.
In late June, the rangy right-hander was nearly unhittable in back-to-back starts against Lovell and Powell, striking out 11 batters in each outing, which spanned 11 innings, during which he allowed only one earned run, including a a one-hitter against Lovell.
Baldes also displayed consistency regardless of the circumstances he found himself in whenever he took the ball, putting up a 2.73 ERA in conference games and 1.90 in the postseason, including a 118-pitch outing in the Raiders' opener at last week's state tournament, in which he hurled 7 1/3 innings and struck out eight during an 8-7 win over Gillette.
Baldes also hit .336 with 26 RBI and a team-leading 19 hit-by-pitches on the season.
Fabricus was Riverton's most versatile player all season, playing virtually every position on the field at one point or another.
But, not being in the same place didn't affect Fabricus' ability to provide lockdown defense, only committing five errors all season.
However, Fabricus' most valuable contribution to manager Troy Brown's club was taking over primary catching duties once starter Anthony Allen was lost for the season due to injury, donning the gear and setting up behind the plate in 43 games.
Fabricus was just as useful with a bat in his hands, hitting .413 with five homers and 46 RBI, good for second on the club, including a road doubleheader against Green River on June 5, in which he had back-to-back three-hit games.
The high-water mark was a 4-for-4 performance in a 15-6 win against Bozeman, Montana, during a tournament in Billings on July 8.
Cody Frazier, Jaren Draper and Matt Fisher were named to the A West all-conference second team.
Frazier hit a team-high .430 with a squad-leading 54 RBI, 61 runs scored and was second on the Raiders in OPS at 1.171.
Riverton's solid-fielding third baseman hit only one home run on the campaign, but it was a big one -- a grand slam in a 24-6 win over Lovell on June 22 and his biggest moment of the season was in the Raiders' state tourney opener in Cowley, when he produced a walk-off single to beat Gillette, 8-7, in the bottom of the 10th inning.
In fact, Frazier never once all season went hitless for more than one game, hitting safely in 40 of 46 games, including a 5-for-6 performance against Cheyenne at the state tournament.
Draper hit .364 with 34 RBI in 35 games and Fisher was 6-4 on the mound with 47 strikeouts.
Riverton finished the season with a 36-18 record, including a 10-6 A West conference record and a second-place finish at the state tournament.