Jun 18, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorRiverton won its opening three games at the Knights Invitational in Green River.
All season long, the Riverton Raiders have been getting contributions across the board up and down the entire roster, with different players stepping up at different times in getting the job done.
The latest example of this was in Green River on Friday and Saturday, as Riverton put three separate opponents to the sword with victories against Rock Springs, Jackson and Evanston, in advancing to Sunday's championship game of the Knights Invitational.
On Friday in a 13-1 victory over Rock Springs, the Raiders were without leadoff man Brodie Roden, leaving Kyren Higgs in the role at the top of the order.
Higgs responded by going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored, and four batted in after moving up from his customary No. 2 slot in the lineup.
Dalton Lassiter pitched an absolute gem for Riverton, going the distance with an efficient 94-pitch effort, striking out three and not allowing an earned run.
Lassiter was also excellent at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI in helping his own cause.
A 1-0 game in the Raiders' favor through three innings was blown open by the kind of offensive explosion this club has been known for this season, scoring 12 runs over the final five frames.
Alex Fabricus homered to lead off the fifth, his team-leading fourth of the season.
Fabricus and Josiah Washington each added two hits in a 14-hit attack, which allowed Lassiter to cruise to victory.
Riverton 6, Jackson 4
On Saturday morning, the Raiders were back at it, and so were their bats in a 6-4 win against Jackson.
Roden was back in his usual spot at the top of the order and celebrated his return with a two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth, which provided necessary insurance for his club, said Riverton manager Troy Brown.
"Brodie's home run there was huge," he said. "It gave us the extra cushion we needed to close out the game."
In fact, third baseman Cody Frazier found himself on the mound in a save situation in the top of the seventh after having relieved starter Dalton Baldes, who went 6 2/3 innings, throwing 119 pitches and striking out seven.
It took Frazier 20 pitches to retire the side, but after walking a pair of Giants, the Raiders' closer-for-a day reached back and struck the final Jackson batter of the game to secure victory.
Riverton 6, Evanston 4
On Saturday afternoon with a berth in Sunday's championship game at stake, the Raiders came through with flying colors in a 6-4 victory over Evanston.
Riverton actually trailed, 2-0, entering the fourth inning, but plated three runs in the frame to take a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Washington walked to lead off, followed by a Jaren Draper single to left before Baldes was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Lassiter then singled to drive home Washington, with the bases remaining loaded for Matt Fisher, who drew a base-on-balls to force home a run to tie the game at 2-2.
Higgs then popped up to right field, but the ball was misplayed for an error, which allowed Baldes to score and take the lead in the process by a 3-2 score.
Riverton scored another three runs in the fifth, highlighted by a Roden RBI double and despite a pair of late Evanston runs, the game ended 6-4 in favor of the visitors.
Roden pitched the first five frames, with Fabricus shutting the Outlaws down in the final two innings.
Brown praised Fisher for having put in a solid effort behind the plate, which was yet another example of his squad's selflessness.
"Matt stepped in there and did a wonderful job for us, which allowed us to give Alex (Fabricus) a break from catching," said Brown of Fisher, who threw out a runner attempting to steal as part of his day's work. "We have 10 guys here who are all willing to play any position on the field."
Fisher was also one of five Raiders who each had a pair of hits in the game, along with Roden, Washington, Draper and Baldes.
Brown appreciated the fact he gets offensive production from the entire lineup.
"It's really the perfect storm when you have 10 guys who can hit the baseball," he said. "If the top of our order doesn't come through, the bottom does."
Riverton 1 0 0 4 1 2 5 -- 13
Rock Springs 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 -- 1
Riverton - Higgs, 4-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI; Frazier, 1-4, RBI; A. Fabricus, 2-5, HR, 2 RBI; Washington, 2-4, RBI; D. Fabricus, 0-3; Draper, 1-2; Baldes, 0-2; Lassiter, 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Fisher, 1-3.
Jackson 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 -- 4
Riverton 2 0 0 0 2 2 x -- 6
Jackson - Hollingsworth, 1-4; Villa, 1-3; Fuez, 1-3, RBI; Campbell, 0-3; Fairbanks, 0-3; Bruno, 1-3; Fisher, 1-3, 2B; Armigo, 1-1; Ellingsworth, 0-3.
Riverton - Roden, 2-4; 2 RBI; Higgs, 3-4, 2B; Frazier, 1-2; A. Fabricus, 0-3; Washington, 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; D. Fabricus, 1-3; Draper, 1-2; Lassiter, 0-3; Fisher, 0-3.
Riverton 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 -- 6
Evanston 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 -- 4
Riverton - Roden, 2-4, 2 2B, RBI; Higgs, 1-5, 2B; Frazier, 1-3; A. Fabricus, 0-3; Washington, 2-3; Draper, 2-3; Baldes, 2-3, RBI; Lassiter, 1-3, 2 RBI; Fisher, 2-3, RBI.
Evanston - Wicks, 1-2; McDonald, 1-4; Mitchell, 0-3; Hicks, 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI; S. Lloyd, 0-3; B. Lloyd, 0-3; Perriman, 0-3; Thompson, 0-1; Fisher, 0-1; Gross, 0-3.
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