Jul 13, 2017 - By Scott Akanewich, Sports EditorThe right-hander struck out 12 in a 10-0 victory against Newcastle to open the Babe Ruth state tournament.
One way to guarantee yourself a win in a baseball game is to score at least one run while not allowing any to your opponents.
Better still to not even allow a hit -- or a walk -- or anything else, for that matter.
Blake Dale did just that in pitching a no-hitter in a 10-0 victory against Newcastle for the Riverton Babe Ruth all-stars in the opener of the 15-and-under state tournament in Casper on Wednesday.
In fact, of the minimum 16 batters Dale faced, he sent 12 of them back to the dugout with the bat in their hands via strikeouts.
Add in the fact he issued no bases-on-balls and his teammates' solid defense in backing him up on what few balls were put into play and you have a gem of a performance with only a hit batter standing between Dale and a perfect game.
However, before Dale even fired his first pitch of the afternoon, he and his fellow bats built an 8-0 lead, putting a snowman on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. It was Dale himself who started the avalanche of offense with a leadoff single.
Fittingly enough, Dale scored the only marker he would need once he finally did take the mound with a steal of home for the game's first run for a quick 1-0 lead before an out was even recorded.
But, Riverton certainly didn't stop there.
Trey Draper and Kaden DeWitt followed with singles, Vincent Brown reached on an error, and Tryston Truempler doubled home a pair. A Tyler McKiernan RBI single made it 5-0.
Damon DeVries and Dale singled again in his second at-bat of the inning for an 8-0 advantage, still with no outs.
Finally, the frame ended as Newcastle retired the next three Riverton batters in order, but to say the damage was already done would have been a huge understatement.
Dale took the ball, stepped onto the mound, and began to mow down Newcastle hitters with precision, fanning the first two batters he faced, before retiring the next on a fly ball to left fielder Ethen Vaughn for the third out.
Riverton added two more runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by another Truempler double and an RBI single by Derrick Lange to make it 10-0. It was all over but the shouting as Dale closed out Newcastle across the final two innings, adding another four strikeouts to his total, including the final three of the game in the fifth. The contest was called due to the 10-run rule.
Truempler led the Riverton offense, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three runs batted in, while Dale and Lange also were 2-for-3 on the day.
Riverton 14, Casper 4
On Thursday, Riverton faced a morning game against Casper and fatigue may have played a factor as the local all-stars fell behind 4-0 entering the bottom of the fourth.
However, once their bats awoke from their early slumber, it was game on again, just as it was the previous afternoon.
Back-to-back seven-run frames in the fourth and fifth innings equaled 14 unanswered runs and another 10-run win by a 14-4 final.
A Casper error allowed Brown to begin the comeback with Riverton's first run of the contest. The floodgates opened from there, as six more runners would circle the bases and score, highlighted by a DeWitt single which chased home a pair, and it was 7-4.
Riverton managed only five hits in the game, but was helped by 12 bases on balls and took advantage four Casper errors.
DeWitt finished 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, while Brown, Lange and Dalten Leach also banged out hits for the home club in victory.
Next for the two-time defending 15-and-under state champions is a game against Douglas at noon Friday.
Riverton 8 0 0 2 0 x x -- 10
Newcastle 0 0 0 0 0 x x -- 0
Riverton - Dale, 2-3, RBI; Draper, 1-3; LeClair, 0-1; DeWitt, 2-3; Koehn, 0-1; Brown, 0-2, RBI; Leach, 1-1; Truempler, 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Rees, 0-1; McKiernan, 1-2, RBI; Lange, 1-2, RBI; Vaughn, 1-3; DeVries, 1-3, RBI.
Casper 0 3 0 1 0 x x -- 4
Riverton 0 0 0 7 7 x x -- 14
Riverton - Dale, 0-3; Draper,, 0-1, 2 RBI; DeWitt, 2-4, 4 RBI; Brown, 1-2; Truempler, 0-2; McKiernan, 0-1; Koehn, 0-1; Lange, 1-2, RBI; LeClair, 0-1; Leach, 1-1, RBI; Rees, 0-1; DeVries, 0-1, RBI.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.