Three Rivers team gets off to a quick start
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
Two years ago, Eric Gross coached a Three Rivers Little League junior team all the way to regionals.
He is looking to accomplish the feat again.
“We’d like to repeat what our Little League did two years ago and win a state championship,” Gross said.
This year’s team is off to a good start, defeating Monument Little League 13-3 in the first round of the district tournament Tuesday night at Orchard Mesa Little League Park.
Three Rivers used its base running abilities to do it, stealing 12 bases in the game and taking advantage of six wild pitches.
“Our guys like to run,” Gross said. “We have a fair amount of speed. We like to be able to utilize that resource when we can.
“The challenge often is to help them build the patience to run at the right times.”
In between, they strung together six hits, including a RBI double by Jake Gallaher.
John Nieslanik was 2 for 2 with an RBI, two walks and three runs scored.
Nieslanik, Foster Gross and Kenny Resch combined to limit Monument to three runs on three hits and struck out five.
“We used three different guys,” Eric Gross said. “Some of the guys haven’t played together at all, because some of them played American Legion this year. This game was an opportunity to look at different pitchers and they all did pretty well. ”
Nieslanik and Foster Gross shut out Monument through four innings.
Grand Mesa’s major boys team defeated Fruita Redlands 19-10 and Montrose defeated Orchard Mesa 7-1 in the winners’ bracket. In the losers’ bracket, Palisade defeated Three Rivers 9-2.
In the major girls bracket, Grand Mesa routed Fruita 13-2 to advance to the championship game. Taryn Smith pitched a no-hitter. Kenzie Lange had a two-run triple and a two-run double. Megan Cosslett and Tyler Hays each had two hits.
Orchard Mesa eliminated Montrose with a 14-0 victory and plays Fruita for a spot in the district final.
Grand Mesa’s 11-year-old boys team secured a 7-6 victory over Fruita and Orchard Mesa defeated Monument 16-2. Grand Mesa and Orchard Mesa play Thursday to get in the championship game.
Palisade’s 9-10-year-old boys team defeated Grand Mesa 20-13 and Monument won 15-3 against Cortez in the American bracket. Fruita eliminated Orchard Mesa 15-5.
In the 9-10-year-old girls tournament, Orchard Mesa eliminated Monument 33-26.