The goal is three wins. The prize is a state championship. That’s what both Laramie Little League All-Stars have in mind at the state tournament in Gillette.

Play begins Wednesday for both the Laramie 9-10 and 11-12 year old All-Stars. It’s a four team, double elimination bracket that continues through Saturday.

Laramie 11-12 All-Stars

It’s actually been three years since Laramie made an appearance at the State Little League Tournament. They last won a title in 2011.

Laramie will face Lander is their opening game today at 4 p.m.  The other game today features Cody. They are the three-time defending champs. Cody opens against Gillette.

11-12 manager Jeremy Sell said,

“I think at this point it doesn’t really matter who you draw. I think everybody’s there because they’re good. Like Little League comes down to, it’s going to come down to pitching at the end of the day.”

Sell said their pitchers will have to hit their spots and throw a high percentage of strikes. With the rules the way they are, it’s harder to manage if the pitch counts run high.

In order to win it, Sell said, “We’re going to have to scratch and claw and fight the whole way… We can’t have any slow starts.”

Laramie has won it all the last three times the state tournament has been in Gillette, according to District Administrator VerDon Hoopes.

Laramie 9-10 All-Stars

After getting beat in last year’s title game, the Laramie 9-10’s are looking to get back on top. That defeat stopped a streak of four straight state championships for Laramie in this age division.

Laramie has drawn Riverton in their first round game. It also starts at 4 p.m. The other match-up is defending champ Cody taking on Gillette National.

Coming off the District title last week, 9-10 manager Conrad Chavez believes the quick turnaround is a benefit.

“I like the fact that we’re coming off a week of play. Riverton and Cody, they’ve had a week off, and I think in terms of just keeping things going, we’re in really, really good position.”

Chavez also knows pitching is key for his squad. He needs to see consistency. Outside of that, Chavez said I look at our offense.

“I would say our offense was a little bit lackluster last week (at District’s). Even though we put up a lot of runs, I know we can put up a lot more.”

Both teams will play a game Thursday regardless of today’s outcome.