ST. LOUIS — Three Rivers struggled to plate runs Saturday, dropping a doubleheader at St. Louis Community College.
The Raiders defense fared well in game one but with a tough outing on offense, they came up short, 3-1. In game two, St. Louis dominated every aspect of the game, winning 14-2 to win the four-game series. The Raiders' lone win in the series was an 8-6 game on the back end of Friday's doubleheader.
The game one scoring came quickly for both sides. St. Louis (13-8, 10-13 Region XVI) scored all three of its runs in the first two innings. The Raiders — the home team on the scoreboard — got a run back in the bottom of the second inning to close the gap.
Both defenses, though, locked down after the second inning and didn't allow another run. Kyle Clayton finished with Three Rivers' only RBI of the game after he scored Nick Fakouri on an unassisted ground out to first base.
""We had on base every inning, but unfortunately, only got one of those to score. It was one of those games that could've easily went our way if a well-hit ball or two falls in or we catch a break," Three Rivers coach Stacey Burkey said.
Cameron Johnson had a solid outing on the mound for Three Rivers (20-20-1, 8-15-1 Region XVI). He pitched all seven innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs and striking out five.
"Cameron gave us a quality start," Burkey said. "He only allowed four hits and those were in the first two innings. He really settled in and pitched well."
Game two was a completely different story. The Raiders did themselves no favors with eight errors, ending up on the wrong end of a 14-5 hit differential. Three Rivers didn't manage to score a run until the fifth inning, and by then, St. Louis had already built a 6-0 lead. The Archers threw the knockout blow with eight runs in the seventh inning to seal a blowout win.
"Once we got behind in the middle innings, we weren't able to cash in with some runners on base to keep it close," Burkey said. "After stranding several guys the first game, we probably got to pressing a little bit too much. Also, we had some defensive breakdowns that they capitalized on."
Zac Salyers had the only multiple-hit day for Three Rivers in game two, going 2 for 2. Nash Winters pitched four innings for the Raiders. He allowed six hits, four runs — three earned — and two walks, striking out six. Braden Cox pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up six hits, six runs — four earned — with three strikeouts. Chase Hutson went the final 2/3 innings. He struck out two, walked two, allowed two hits and three earned runs.
Three Rivers will try to get back on track when it visits Crowley's Ridge JV for a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic