Three Rivers 9-10s can’t dig out of early hole
GRAND JUNCTION – Bad starts are hard to come back from. That’s the lesson the Three Rivers All Stars learned in a 7-4 loss to Cortez in Wednesday’s opening game of the 9-10 District 1 tournament at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex.Three Rivers put itself in a five-run hole after the second inning when Cortez took advantage of some loose defensive play combined with some well-timed base hits for a 6-1 lead. “Our pitcher’s fastball was getting hit and our defense wasn’t tight,” said coach Paul Gonzales of the team’s early problems. Cortez converted four Three Rivers errors into three runs in the first, then added a three-spot the next inning when it pounded out four straight hits against losing pitcher Orlando Mereno. Between the onslaught, the area team, made up of players from Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt, scratched out a run on the first of two Tucker Jenkins RBIs he had in the game when his single scored Kalen Gabow from second.Despite a fine effort from Moreno from the third inning on, the earlier damage by Cortez was too much for Three Rivers. Moreno did his part, racking up four of his seven strikeouts from that point, including striking out the side in the third.After giving up the early runs, Moreno held Cortez to a solo tally in the fourth and helped himself out of a jam when he snared winning pitcher Andrew Farney’s liner back to the box for the second out of the inning.Three Rivers edged its way back in with a run in the third and runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Nick Calabro scored on a catcher’s throwing error after getting on with a bunt single followed by a steal of second.Moreno scored Three Rivers’ final run on Jenkins’ infield groundout.”Our kids tightened up and we made more plays (defensively) as the game progressed.” Gonzales said. “Then we didn’t hit the ball hard enough.” Cortez finished with 10 hits to Three Rivers seven, all seven were singles.Down 0-1 in pool play, Three Rivers continues tournament play this afternoon against Montrose.
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Coal Ridge could just pull off a 3A league championship if the Titans take care of their own business and get a little help from afar.