Three Rivers wins 9-10B title
Most coaches wouldn’t be happy losing the first game of a tournament, but for Three Rivers 9-10 B Little League boys coach Dave LaGrua, it worked out just fine.
Three Rivers opened the District 1 tournament July 9 with a 9-8 loss to Monument B, but worked their way into the championship game with five wins in five days.
Friday, the team got win number six and took home the District championship in a 10-4 win over Monument B.
“The best thing that could have happened to us, I think, was losing the first game,” LaGrua said. “We were practicing five days a week for three weeks and didn’t quite put it together for the first game.”
But in the last game, things clicked when they needed to.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the game tied 4-4, Three Rivers got five consecutive hits to get the lead when it needed to.
Leadoff hitter Tyler Dollahan grounded out to begin the inning, but Sebastian Gonzalez got the rally started by getting hit by a pitch to reach base. Elliot Hoofnager followed with a single to shallow center field, which set the plate for Dominic Lanese.
Lanese drove a full-count pitch over the head of right fielder Jacob Woldruff. The ball fell just short of the fence, but still gave him enough time to round the bases and score an inside-the-park home run.
LaGrua said it was Lanese’s second inside-the-park home run in two days.
Lanese said he was worried about heading home, although he made it in easily.
“When I was rounding third I got a little scared,” he said.
Kai Kanzer hit a double to left-center field and Jackson Rappaport and Ralph Good followed with singles. All three later scored.
Early on, the two teams traded leads.
Monument scored the first runs of the game with a first-inning rally.
Jadin Berka and Marcus Labonde both reached on singles. After a groundout by Rhett Pawlowski, Rylar Harmon singled to drive in Berka. Harmon scored on an ground ball by Colton Prout.
Harmon ended the inning when he was tagged out trying to score on a passed ball.
Three Rivers scored one run in the bottom of the inning, then took the lead by scoring three runs in the third.
In the top of the fourth, Monument took advantage of walks to Cavon Pawlowski and Logan Woll to tie it up.
Pawlowski scored on a single by Woldruff and Woll scored on a passed ball.
Monument coach David Woll called the game “a great game between two great teams” and said he was pleased with how they rebounded after losing 25-2 to Three Rivers on Thursday. The loss forced Friday’s championship game.
“I’m guessing outside of our 10 kids and four coaches that nobody thought we had a chance,” he said. “We’re happy to have played as hard as we did against them.”
Orchard Mesa eliminated Montrose with a 9-3 win Friday in Palisade.
Orchard Mesa scored four runs in the top of the first inning, and scored four more in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead entering the fifth inning. The team then scored one more in the top of the sixth.
Montrose scored one in the bottom of the second inning and added two more in the fifth.
Tristian Brown had a home run in the fourth inning for Orchard Mesa.
Orchard Mesa plays Palisade at 5:30 tonight for the District 1 championship. Palisade, who is undefeated, needs only one win for the championship. Orchard Mesa will need to win two games.