Three Rivers pitching too much for Monument Major Boys

Fruita All-Stars pitcher Bella DiDanto looks for the umpire’s call Sunday as she tags out Jordyn Stephenson of Orchard Mesa at the plate during Sunday’s game at Orchard Mesa Little League.

The umpire’s booming voice calling out “strike!” was on repeat, a sound that pitchers never get tired of hearing.

Three Rivers defeated Monument 12-2 on Sunday in the second round of the Major Boys District 1 Little League tournament at Grand Mesa.

The pitching tandem of Sam Fitzwilliams and Cole Houston was a force to be reckoned with. The duo struck out 10 batters, walked two and allowed only three hits.

Coach Scott Houston said he was proud of the consistency that Fitzwilliams, his starter, showed.

In three innings, the 12-year-old struck out eight batters. He confidently threw his curveball, and Monument hitters never figured out how to hit the pitch.

Defensively, although it was rarely tested, Three Rivers was solid.

“I think we are all becoming best buds,” Fitzwilliams said. “It helps us on the field because we just know what everyone is going to do when they get the ball or what is going through the other person’s head.”

Riley Cook was a bright spot on offense for Monument, with two of the team’s three hits.

Branden Kelley had the third hit, a double in the third inning.

On offense, Three Rivers had a balanced attack, with eight different players getting hits.

Scott Houston wasn’t surprised by the hitting display.

“(I told them) just do what you do in practice and don’t be nervous,” he said.

“Basically don’t let your nerves get to you. That is the key.”

Fitzwilliams said Three Rivers approached every at-bat looking to make contact rather than trying to force a big hit.

Third baseman David Riley led the way, going 3 for 3 with a three-run home run and a double.

Matt Rigney came into the game in the second inning, scoring twice and hitting two singles.

On Tuesday, Three Rivers will play CRV at 8 p.m. Monument plays Orchard Mesa at 5 today in an elimination game.

In other District 1 playoff games Sunday:

50/70: Delta defeated Fruita 15-11.

Major Boys: Grand Mesa defeated Fruita 12-2, eliminating Fruita. Three Rivers defeated Monument 12-2.

10/11 Boys: Orchard Mesa eliminated Delta 10-6. Monument defeated Three Rivers 7-6.

9/10 Boys:  Three Rivers defeated Orchard Mesa 18-8, knocking OM out of the tournament. CRV defeated Palisade 20-2.

Junior Girls: Three Rivers defeated CRV 11-4.

Major Girls: Orchard Mesa defeated Monument 10-3, eliminating Monument.

9/10 Girls: Fruita defeated Orchard Mesa 11-6, setting up the championship game at 5 today between the only two teams in the tournament.


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