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By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Worland Baseball looks to keep it rolling during home tournament

Worland opens tourney vs. Buffalo at 5:30 p.m. Friday


June 22, 2017

Worland Baseball looks to keep it rolling during home tournament

Worland opens tourney vs. Buffalo at 5:30 p.m. Friday

By Alex Kuhn

Sports Editor

WORLAND - After spending most of their time on the road in places like Casper, Lovell and Billings, the Worland 12U baseball team will play in front of their hometown fans at the friendly confines of Newell Sargent Park starting Friday and ending on Sunday.

The Worland Baseball Club Tournament is the annual tournament put on by Worland Baseball and attracts the best 12U and 10U teams from around the state.

Worland Baseball has been on a role since winning a tournament in Lovell on June 2-3. There Worland scored a total of 54 runs in four games and belted seven home runs.

"We just crushed the ball from the first game on through the championship game. That was our focus this year to hit the ball and start generating some offense," said Worland 12U coach Jerry Leyva.

Worland kept their hot bats rolling the following weekend when they traveled to Casper for a tournament on June 9-11.

In pool play, Worland dropped only a single game, which was a 13-5 loss to the Casper Crush, setting themselves up nicely for the bracket portion of the tournament.

Also during pool play, Worland showed resiliency by storming back to beat Rock Springs 11-9 after being down 9-0.

"Saturday morning we played Rock Springs and we just weren't doing well. That was probably our worst game of the tournament. They got up on us 9-0, but we came back and won 11-9, we scored 11 runs in the fifth inning," said Leyva.

Worland was able to secure a semifinal berth with a 12-7 win over Gillette. Waiting in the semifinals was the Casper Crush. With the bracket setup as double-elimination, winner of the semifinal would have it easy as they would advance straight to the championship; while the loser would have to play extra games if they wanted to get to the championship.

Worland came through as they beat the Crush 12-8 to move on to the championship.

"Against Gillette we kept it going and Gillette is a good team. Sunday morning in the semifinal game we played against the Crush again and we mercy ruled them. After the game, their coach was asking what we fed our kids the night before," said Leyva.

In the championship, Worland faced the Crush again since they battled their way back. Worland needed to beat the Crush just once to claim the title, unfortunately, it was not in the cards for them as they dropped both games to finish in second place.

"We were up 6-0 through five, but then we made some big mistakes and (the Crush) started hitting the ball. Then in the second game they blew it open on us," said Leyva.

While the ending of the tournament did not go as planned, Worland gain valuable experience and had fun as well.

"It was such an exciting tournament and it was fun to play," said Leyva, "We played seven games during the weekend and that's a lot for us, but I was really, really pleased with the bats. It was the first time that our defense let us down versus our bats, but we played good ball and carried Lovell over into Casper and our bats were amazing again."

Leyva was quick to praise his other coaches and volunteers who have helped the team improve like it has.

"Gary (Gilmore) and Charlie (Gilmore) have given the boys a lot of good instruction. Gary with the pitchers and Charlie, my baseball coach when I was a kid, has a lot of baseball savvy. Then Gary Wantulok comes out on his own time with the pitching machine and gets these boys out and does it all over again," said Leyva.

Leyva also praised the parents who have helped behind the scenes.

"All the moms and parents have been great. They're the true stars of all of this. They're out organizing and putting things like the concessions together. It's all really cool to see everyone come together and help the boys and program anyway they can," said Leyva.

As for this weekend's tournament, Buffalo, the Casper Crush, Riverton, Sheridan and Thermopolis will join Worland in battling it out for the tournament championship this weekend.

Yes, the same Casper Crush team that Worland has been going back and forth with this summer will be here to continue the rivalry.

"They're very talented and make very little mistakes. That's the fun part about when we play them, we're so even comes down who is going to make the fewest mistakes," said Leyva about the Crush.

Either way, Worland is ready to face the Crush and any other team this weekend, and they're excited to play in front of their home crowd as they aim for the championship.

"We're midway through the season and we're right where we want to be. This tournament will be a good one. It's going to be nice to be on our home field and don't have to listen to their walkup music," said Leyva. "We're right where we want to be. The boys are working hard and our coaches are working hard. We're really excited for our tournament and want to go out and win it."

Schedule for the Worland Baseball Club Tournament is as follows.


5:30 p.m. Riverton vs. Thermopolis

5:30 p.m. Worland vs. Buffalo

7:15 p.m.  Sheridan vs. Casper 

Saturday (Pool Play)

9 a.m. Worland vs. Thermopolis

11 a.m. Buffalo vs. Casper

11am. Riverton vs. Sheridan

1 p.m.   Buffalo vs. Thermopolis

3 p.m.  Worland vs. Riverton

3 p.m.  Sheridan vs. Thermopolis

5 p.m.  Riverton vs. Casper

7 p.m.  Buffalo vs. Sheridan

7 p.m.  Worland vs. Casper

Sunday (Bracket Play)

9 a.m. 4th - 6th seed

9 a.m. 3rd - 5th seed

11 a.m. Semi vs 1st seed

11 a.m. Semi vs 2nd Seed

1 p.m. Third place

3 p.m. Championship


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