NEOSHO, Mo. —Three Rivers had its streak of three straight series sweeps come to an end Monday.
Three Rivers was rolling before getting steamrolled by No. 16 Crowder in a Region XVI matchup. The Raiders dropped a close first game 3-1 before falling 15-2 in five innings on the back end of a doubleheader Sunday. In Monday's doubleheader, Crowder carried that momentum into a pair of shutouts, winning the first game 10-0 before following up with a 12-0 win.
Three Rivers (15-17-1) kept Sunday's first game throughout. After hitting a leadoff single, Beau Burson scored on a sacrifice fly from Ty'Reik Thomas to get the Raiders on the board first. In the bottom of the second, Colten Nix scored on a passed ball, a mistake in the midst of an otherwise good game defensively for the Raiders. Brinson Williams followed with an RBI single to put Crowder (27-9) ahead for good.
Cameron Tissue added an insurance run with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
River Hunt fared pretty well in his start on the mound against a top-20 team. He allowed five hits in five innings of work, allowing three earned runs and striking out two.
"River competed well and gave us a quality start on the mound," Three Rivers coach Stacey Burkey said. "We out-hit them 6-4 but stranded some runners that would have been nice to get across the plate in the fourth and fifth when it was a one-run game. One of those games that could have gone either way."
A.J. Calhoon gave up one hit in one inning on the mound with one strikeout.
The second game was much more lopsided.
Through two innings, Crowder had distanced itself from Three Rivers with a 9-1 lead on the way to a 15-2 win in five innings. The Roughriders scored in every inning except the fifth while holding the Raiders scoreless for four innings.
"We allowed them to get some big innings started by walks and errors," Burkey said. "Then, their hitters were able to get some aggressive swings. Offensively, we couldn't put enough together to overcome that."
The Raiders committed two errors and couldn't make up for some inconsistency on defense, getting shut down at the plate, too. They tallied four hits and allowed 13. No one in the lineup recorded multiple hits for the Raiders.
Elvin Diaz pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed six hits and five earned runs with one strikeout and a pair of walks. Nash Winters pitched an inning and gave up three hits, three earned runs and struck out a batter.
In Monday's first game, Three Rivers dug an early hole as Crowder amassed all 10 runs in the first two innings, including seven in the second. The Raiders were out-hit 10-3 while committing a pair of errors.
Shelby Quiggins pitched 1 2/3 innings in the first game and allowed six hits, six earned runs and three walks with two strikeouts. Braden Cox pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs.
"We got in an early hole by giving up seven unearned runs in the second inning," Burkey said. "Their pitcher didn't walk anyone and we only had three hits. On top of the rough second inning, Crowder played well."
Freilin Cabrera led Crowder at the plate with a 3-for-3 game on three RBIs and two runs scored.
Game two wasn't much better. Crowder tallied 11 hits compared to two for the Raiders, who had as many errors as hits against a top-20 team in the country. The Roughriders again scored seven runs in the second inning, cruising to a five-inning shutout. Roberto Mejia and Zac Salyers tallied the only two hits for Three Rivers in the game.
"It was very similar to the first game in giving up seven unearned runs in the second inning," Burkey said. "Their pitcher didn't walk anyone and we only had two hits. That's pretty unusual to see. We're disappointed but will work hard this week to get back to playing clean baseball when we go to Metropolitan in Kansas City this weekend."
Three Rivers' region grind continues with a trip to Metropolitan for a four-game series, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic