Three Rivers survives and advances in tourney |

Three Rivers survives and advances in tourney

Phil Sandoval
Post Independent Staff

GRAND JUNCTION ” Miracles are easy for teams that believe in themselves. And no team’s better at 11th-hour comebacks or brimming with more confidence than Three Rivers’ Major boys Little League team.

Down to the final six outs with a two-run deficit to Cortez on Monday, it appeared that the clock had finally run out for Three Rivers. But someone forgot to inform the team.

Alec Guenther completed Three Rivers’ 3-2 comeback win when he socked a game-winning single to right-center field in the seventh inning.

The victory advanced Three Rivers to a must-win game against Grand Mesa, which starts at 7 tonight at Orchard Mesa’s Little League complex.

Three Rivers, saddled with an earlier loss in the double-elimination tournament, has to defeat unbeaten Grand Mesa tonight for a shot at the title and the state championship berth that goes to the District 1 champion.

It was no miracle, Guenther said. All it took to win the game was a matter of waiting for the right pitch.

“I’m a really good fastball hitter,” Guenther said. “And (Cortez pitcher Tucker Brumley) threw one right down the plate.”

The base hit scored base runner Gus Burg, who got into scoring position on a Cortez infield error and a Brumley wild pitch.

Scott Hoffman set up the dramatics with his two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning.

“(Starting pitcher) Justin Goforth was getting tired,” Hoffman said.

Earlier, the Cortez pitcher was almost untouchable. Before the fifth, Goforth limited Three Rivers to three scattered singles ” all in separate innings and extinguished a promising bases-loaded rally in the second inning with back-to-back strikeouts.

“He was a great pitcher,” Three Rivers coach John Blounts said of Goforth. “But we never gave up and we had the confidence to come back.”

Junior boys’ bats awaken against Orchard Mesa

Three Rivers found its offense and moved on to a 5:30 p.m. losers-out contest tonight with an 18-1, mercy-rule-shorted victory over Orchard Mesa Monday in the Junior Boys tournament at Grand Mesa’s Little League complex.

The team’s opponent for tonight’s game was not available late Monday night.

“We’re just starting to come together,” coach Rick Ullom said after the team’s one-sided win. “The first time the team played together was Saturday.”

Since that 11-0 tournament opening loss, Three Rivers has won its last two games. Three Rivers silenced opponents by scoring 15 of its runs in the second and third innings, batting through the lineup in each frame.

Pat Hailey threw a four-inning no-hitter, allowing an unearned run in the third, before turning the game over to Matt Snyder in the fifth.

Snyder also had a productive night at the plate, going 2-for-2 with three RBI’s. Matt Seaver led the team with three hits in four at bats. Hunter McCallum also knocked in a pair of runs.

In other Division 1 tournament Little League games Monday, Three Rivers’ 11-year old team lost, 7-1, to Grand Mesa in the opener for both teams. The loss drops Three Rivers into the elimination bracket where it will play a yet-to-be determined opponent Wednesday afternoon in Cortez.

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