Green River Star -

By Jack H. Smith
Staff Writer 

Looking back: Green River Knights have plenty of bright spots during 2014 season

 


2014 was a dramatic year for the Green River Knights American Legion Class A team.

The Knights finished the season with a 30-22 record and were the 2014 American Legion Class A South District Champions.

The highlight of the season was in July when Green River came away from American Legion Class A South District tournament with a first-place finish.

Green River opened the tournament with a forfeit win over Guernsey and a bye into the semifinals.

Manager Stub Hatfield said while some believe a bye allows a team a chance to rest or watch their competition, he would rather have the team play.

“I’m not crazy about them,” Hatfield said.

Green River showed the heart of a champion and advance to the finals with a dramatic 9-6 comeback win over Laramie.

It was a rocky start for the Knights who fell behind 4-0 after the end of the second inning.

During the inning, Green River’s starting pitcher Tannar Hanks was replaced by Mike Pelletier who kept the strong Laramie lineup in check only giving up two runs in the next five innings.

The Knights trailed 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, before outscoring Laramie 8-0 to seal a berth in the final against Rock Springs, who started the tournament with a stunning 18-7 upset over Torrington, who came into the tournament as the top seed in the north. Hatfield said it took a few innings against Laramie for the team to come up to speed against their competitors.

“After that, we shut them down,” he said.

Green River had a total of 14 hits with their nine runs, while Laramie ended the game with seven hits to go along with their six runs.

Hatfield said a couple double plays turned by the Knights helped seal the deal, as well as only committing two errors.

The battle between county rivals was much like many of their prior 10 games during the season as was a back and forth affair that came down to the end.

But much like it had nine other times during the season, Green River was able to overcome the pesky Rock Springs squad and came away with a 14-11 win and the district title.

Like the prior day’s game against Laramie, the Knights fell behind early and trailed 2-0 after the first at bat from Rock Springs.

They were able to tie the game at the end of the first inning and were able to take a 6-2 lead after the third inning which was sparked by a two-run double by Isaiah Munoz.

Hatfield said Rock Springs attempted to control the number of bases Munoz stole by walking Quentin McKenzie ahead of Munoz, who has stolen 68 bases this season. This strategy backfired for Rock Springs as McKenzie was able to score four runs throughout the game.

The Knights opened the state tournament with 12-7 victory over the Drillers to advance in the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament. After the win, Isaiah Munoz said he was very excited about the teams chance to winning state, but knew they would have to improve every game to win a state championship.

Green River’s journey to a state title took a bump in the road Friday when they were upended in a 9-7 heartbreaker against Powell.

Munoz said he was very pleased with the the way the Knights hit against Powell.

“Everyone hit the ball hard,” he said.

The Knights were eliminated from the state tournament Saturday when they were defeated 15-7 by rival Rock Springs Archie Hay Post 24.

Munoz doesn’t think the tough loss to Powell had an affect on the following games day against their rivals.

“I don’t believe the loss carried over to the Rock Springs game. I feel we just didn’t come out fired up as quickly as they did,” he said.

Munoz said playing with the 2014 team was the best year he’s had playing any sport.

“There is no other team I’d rather play with. We would do anything for each other. We all made improvements over the season and came together as one,” he said. “Unfortunately we came up short of our team goal of winning another state championship.”

Two Green River Knights were honored in August for their amazing play during the season.

Tannar Hanks and Munoz were both named to the American Legion Class A All State First Team. The two also were named to the All District.

Tyler Vendetti and Brendan Hopkins also earned all-conference honors.

“Receiving the first time all state was my biggest personal goal for the season,” Munoz said. “I was very excited after I was told I had received all state honors.”

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018

Rendered 01/12/2019 18:40