Late home run lifts Three Rivers to tourney win
Connor Radkowski made up for the lack fireworks on the Fourth of July.
The Glenwood Springs boy lit up the sky Monday night with a booming home run over the left-center field fence in the fifth inning to lift Three Rivers to a 2-1 victory over Orchard Mesa.
The action came at the opening of District 1 Major Boys (ages 11-12) tournament play at the Grand Mesa Little League complex in east Grand Junction.
Prior to the blow, Radkowski scared the Grand Junction-based team with a fence-clearing shot that sailed wide of the left field foul pole.
Given the lead entering the sixth and final inning, Three Rivers starting pitcher Zach Zerbato, of Glenwood Springs, wrapped up the contest by setting Orchard Mesa’s hitters down 1-2-3.
Zerbato allowed just four hits in the complete game victory with eight strikeouts.
After spotting Orchard Mesa an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, Three Rivers rallied to the 1-1 tie in the fourth when Matt Albinoni scored on a bases-loaded walk to Jake Kinney with two outs.
The win advanced Three Rivers to an 8 p.m. contest tonight against Montrose.
If Three Rivers wins, they will advance to the tournament semifinal game on July 12. A loss drops Three Rivers to the elimination bracket.
The Junior Boys (ages 13-14) baseball tournament in El Jebel began Monday with a pair of games featuring out-of-area teams. In the opener, Monument of Grand Junction won 15-5 over Fruita-Redlands.
In the nightcap, Grand Mesa, also of Grand Junction, defeated Palisade in a mercy-rule shortened contest after five innings.
Three Rivers faces Monument this afternoon at 3 p.m..
The winners from those games advance to the winners’ bracket semifinals on July 11. The two losing teams from Monday’s contest have elimination games on tap on Wednesday.
The Three Rivers 9-10 Boys tournament game results were not available at press time.
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