CODY – The Green River Knights Wyoming Legion baseball team traveled to Cody last weekend looking to punch their ticket to state. Despite suffering three-straight losses to open, the Knights never stopped fighting. Instead, with a victory over Lovell on Sunday, Green River cemented a spot this upcoming weekend in Powell and will compete for a state title.
CODY 13, GREEN RIVER 1
Following a long road trip, the Knights went into Friday’s matchup against Cody looking to get off to a good start. However, after going into the top of the second inning knotted at 1-1, Green River was unable to find its way back on score board. Throughout the next four innings, the Cubs’ offense heated up and scored 12 unanswered, forcing the mercy rule into effect.
After pitching 2.1 innings, Marcos Molina allowed six runs across on eight hits and finished the game with four errors. Teammates Jake Martinez and Broox Riley also spent some time on the mound. Each player pitched 1.1 innings and combined for four errors and zero strikeouts.
Despite having a rough night in the batters box, Jace Griffiths led the way on offense for the Knights. He finished the night with one hit and one RBI. Griffiths’ single in the bottom of the first allowed Molina to score, giving Green River its only run throughout the contest.
Cubs pitcher Tyler Grenz gave the Knights offense fits all night. After pitching five complete innings, Grenz allowed only one run on two hits and finished the night with five strikeouts with just one error.
POWELL 7, GREEN RIVER 6
Following a tough defeat Friday night, Green River went into Saturday’s contest against Powell looking to find their way back into the win column. However, after going into the 10th inning tied 6-6, the Pioneers came out on top after Ashton Brewer hit a sacrifice fly on the last play of the game to win in walk-off fashion.
Picking up the win for Powell was Cade Queen. He pitched a total of 5.2 innings and allowed only two runs on five hits. During this time, he had three strikeouts and walked five. Landon Sessions and Jhett Schwahn also spent time on the mound for Powell. All three pitchers combined for six strikeouts and nine walks.
Jax Peterson pitched the loss on the opposing side. The Knights pitcher gave up five runs on nine hits throughout 4.2 innings. During this time, Peterson also racked up four strikeouts and walked two. As a group, Peterson, Griffiths, Riley, Ramsay Taliaferro and Korbin Serrano combined for five errors, eight strikeouts and seven walks.
As for the offense, the most explosive inning at the plate for Green River came in the top of the third. Not only did Griffiths’ RBI single break the tie at 1-1, but soon after, Taliaferro connected for a two-run home run, extending the Knights’ lead to three.
At the end of the game, each team finished with 13 hits, but it was Brewer who proved to be the difference maker. Alone, he finished the contest with two hits and had four of Powell’s seven RBIs. That’s one less than Green River had as a team.
Griffiths batted in two runs for the Knights while Molina, Serrano and Taliaferro each added one.
RIVERTON 15, GREEN RIVER 8
A few hours after losing a close one to Powell, Green River aimed to bounce back. However, due to a big fifth inning from Riverton’s offense, the Raiders proved to be too hot.
Green River jumped out in front 2-0 in bottom of the second inning, but the lead didn’t last long. Riverton quickly struck back with four runs in the top of the third and extended its lead to double digits with nine runs in the fifth.
Trailing 13-3, Green River continued to fight back. The Knights outscored the Raiders 3-2 in the final two innings but couldn’t catch up before running out of time. By the end of the seventh inning, Riverton closed out the win and sent the Knights into Sunday with a 0-3 record.
Blake Dale picked up the win for Riverton. During his five innings pitched, he allowed six runs on five hits and struck out eight. Pitching the last two innings for the Raiders was Derick Lange. After 29 pitches, he allowed two runs on three hits and didn’t record a strikeout. Between Dale and Lange, the two pitchers combined for five walks and four errors.
On the other side, Knights pitcher Taliaferro threw four innings and gave up four runs on six hits. During this time, Taliaferro struck out four, walked zero and had four errors. Micah Crum, Michael Richardson, Q Liebelt and Riley also spent time on the mound. Between all five players, Green River’s pitching unit combined for six strikeouts, 11 walks and nine errors.
As a team, Green River closed out the contest with eight hits next compared to Riverton’s nine. What proved to be the difference maker in this contest was connection at the plate. All but two players for Riverton registered at least one RBI and finished the game with 14 compared to Green River’s five.
Riley, Griffiths, Taliaferro, Tayler Jensen and Crum all batted in a run for the Knights while Peterson led the team in hits with three.
GREEN RIVER 2, LOVELL 1
Still searching for their first win of the weekend, the Knights went into Sunday’s contest against Lovell needing to win to keep their state hopes alive.
Due to an error from Lovell’s catcher in the top of the sixth inning, Griffiths raced in and scored what would become the game-winning run.
Although the pitching proved to be strong from both sides in this close contest, Serrano who picked up the win. The Knights pitcher threw a complete game and allowed only one run across on three hits. Throughout his seven innings on the mound, Serrano racked up four strikeouts and walked two.
Not only did Serrano get it done on the mound but also inside the batter’s box. He led the team with two hits in four at bats and scored the game’s first run after Taliaferro singled on a fly ball deep to center in the top of the first inning.
To help secure the win, Green River’s defense also played lights out. The Knights fielding committed just one error the entire game.
Following the much-needed 2-1 win, the Knights will travel to Powell this weekend as the No. 4 team in the West. They will open up the tournament against the No. 1 team from the East, Casper Crush, on Saturday, Aug. 1, starting at 10 a.m.
The state tournament will be an eight-team, double-elimination bracket. Last year’s Class A state champions are the Cheyenne Hawks, who are looking to repeat in 2020.