Three Rivers Major boys up to the challenge
GRAND JUNCTION – Pressure? What pressure?Facing elimination from the District 1 tournament every game doesn’t seem to bother the Three Rivers Major boys team. Rather than play with caution, the local group of Little Leaguers seem to enjoy the challenge.”We just put the pressure on the opposing team and just keep pushing,” said Three Rivers coach John Blounts after Saturday’s 8-4 victory over Monument of Grand Junction at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex.”The boys were on totally in this game and were confident even though Monument’s a strong team,” he said.The win sets up today’s rematch against Fruita-Redlands, whose 2-0 victory in the opening game for both teams Thursday sent Three Rivers to the elimination bracket.”When we found out we’d play Fruita, everybody in the dugout cheered,” said Blounts. “That’s the team we wanted to play.”That game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.On Saturday, Three Rivers took charge at the beginning and never trailed.Luke Jacobs hit both of his RBI singles in the first two innings, which allowed Three Rivers to take a 4-1 lead. Except for a blip in the third, when Monument narrowed the lead to 4-3 on Andrew Duff’s two-run homer, Three Rivers was in control.Pitchers Jake Loertscher, Daniel Price and Gus Berg kept Monument’s hitters in check by scattering six hits between them in the six-inning contest.After Three Rivers was challenged in the third, they responded by breaking the game open once just as soon as they had a chance to hit.Alex Rascon and Blake Scherer opened the fourth inning against Monument reliever Caleb Templeton with back-to-back singles. He never recorded an out against the four hitters he faced.Luke Jacob walked to load the bases, Loertscher’s sacrifice fly to deep center field scored Rascon from third, and that forced Monument’s second pitching change of the inning.The new pitcher – Brandon Thompson – was hit just as hard by Three Rivers’ hitters, who got a plus when Monument’s defense suddenly turned sour.Three of the four runs Three Rivers scored in the fourth were unearned, as a result of errors from Monument outfielder Zach Baier and shortstop Chase Arrieta.Price, the game’s winning pitcher, worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth before giving the ball over to Berg, who maintained Three Rivers’ four-run lead in the sixth by allowing one base runner in the four hitters he faced.Junior boys stopped by CortezOver on the other side of Grand Junction, the Three Rivers Junior Boys suffered a rough outing in their tournament opener at the Grand Mesa Little League complex.Cortez starter Logan Case and four additional pitchers tossed an 11-0, one-hitter over the local team of 13-year-olds Saturday.Matt Snyder had the only hit for Three Rivers – a first inning single.The loss puts Three Rivers into a loser-out contest at 3 p.m. today against the loser of Saturday night’s match-up between host Grand Mesa and Monument. The score from that game was not available at press time. Local squads going opposite ways in 9-10 tourney The Three Rivers No. 1 squad downed Three Rivers No. 2, 10-0, in a battle between the two Roaring Fork Valley teams Saturday at the 9- to 10-year-old district tournament in Montrose.The game was the second of four pool-play games for both teams.On Friday night Grand Mesa beat Three Rivers No. 1 by a 13-3 margin in the opening round.Three Rivers No. 1 moves to 1-1 in the tournament and faces Fruita No. 2 today at 3 p.m. Three Rivers No. 2 drops to 0-2 and takes on Palisade at 6 p.m. today.
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.