Riverton team breaks through to win 2015 vintage baseball crown

Jul 15, 2015 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Riverton ended Lander's five-year run on top at the annual vintage baseball tournament at South Pass City Gold Rush Days, winning the title on Sunday.

In the first championship game of the double-elimination tournament, Lander edged Riverton 7-6, forcing a second game.

Riverton outlasted Lander 11-9 in the second contest. Lander had won a string of five straight vintage titles before Sunday's setback.

The tournament started in 2001. It features old-style uniforms, gloves and other equipment.

"We hit the ball pretty consistently," Riverton veteran player Keith Gantenbein said. "We had a lot of good hitters on our team. We didn't make a lot of mistakes."

Gantenbein said Riverton's tough inning came in the first championship game on Sunday.

"Other than that inning, we played pretty much mistake-free baseball," Gantenbein said.

Earlier games

In the opening day, Riverton beat Lander 5-3.

Riverton nipped Hudson 8-7 in the second game.

"Lander has had the same team, year in and year out for the last eight years," Gantenbein said. "For some reason, we struggle to get the same guys back every year because of the prior commitments. There is a lot of respect between both teams. It's a good rivalry."

Gantenbein, Aaron Vincent, Tom Vincent, Eric Baker, Hector Martinez, Jason Muehler, John Souza, John Horn, Gunner Terhune, Gordon Terhune, Nick Esposito and Tyler Graham all played for Riverton.

"I was on the team that won the last championship for Riverton before Lander went on the five-year run," Gantenbein said.

"We are always close with Lander. It's always something little that goes their way by a couple of runs."

Title games

In the first game on Sunday, Tom Vincent pitched for Riverton.

Riverton was up 2-0 after the first inning.

Lander scored six runs to retake the lead at 6-2.

"We had a few errors, and Lander had a few timely hits," Gantenbein said.

Riverton cut into the cushion, falling by one run.

In the second game, Riverton raced out to 4-0 advantage after the first inning.

"Lander just kind of hung in there," Gantenbein said.

Riverton built a 11-5 before Lander crossed home plate four times.

"We walked a guy, then the next guy hit a home run," Gantenbein said.

Lander blasted another two-run homer before Riverton registered the final out.

Horn pitched all but the last inning in the title game.

Souza struck the last Lander batter out to steal the win.

In the tournament, home runs came from Muehler (two), Horn (two), Tom Vincent and Gantenbein all rounded the bases.

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