Three Rivers' pitching staff was in the zone against Crowley's Ridge JV on Monday.
The Raiders allowed one run in two games and climbed back over .500 with a doubleheader sweep in a pair of five-inning games, winning 2-0 and 4-1.
In game one, Three Rivers (22-20-1) scored both runs in the first inning. Zane Wallace knocked an RBI double, scoring Andrew De La Cruz. Mason Sellers followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Wallace.
Beau Burson had a solid outing defensively. He spent three innings on the mound and allowed three hits, no runs and no walks, striking out one. Elvin Diaz tossed a hitless inning, allowing one walk. A.J. Calhoon pitched the final inning. He gave up three hits to load the bases but escaped the jam and finished the game with three strikeouts.
"I think it all started with our pitching. Palmer (Campbell), River (Hunt) and Chase (Hutson) really filled up the strike zone. Our pitch counts were low. They did a really efficient job as far as the pitching end of it, and the first game as well with Beau, Elvin and A.J.," Three Rivers coach Stacey Burkey said.
In game two, the scoring again came early. All four of the Raiders' runs came in the first inning. Nick Fakouri sent a two-run bomb into the Raiders' bullpen for his seventh homer of the season. The Pioneers' right fielder chased the ball all the way to the fence and got up-ended after he ran out of space.
"I yanked one foul. I thought I was going to get a couple of curveballs, and I did. I sat back on them and then got a good count to hit just trying to find the barrel, and I hit the ball over the fence," Campbell said.
Three Rivers didn't generate more runs, but the Raiders made solid contact all day with most balls lining right into the waiting gloves of the Pioneers outfield.
"I was kind of thinking of Wrigley Field for a little bit, you know. When the wind's blowing in, you've got to find a way to get some runs across, and sometimes that can be pretty tough," Burkey said. "When the wind is blowing out, life is good, but good teams are able to manufacture some runs, and we had two big swings there in that first inning with Nick and Palmer.
The defense again did some solid work. Campbell pitched three innings and gave up two hits and an unearned run, striking out two. River Hunt threw a shutout inning, not allowing a hit and striking out a pair. Chase Hutson did the same, allowing one walk.
"We were just trying to throw strikes and let our defense work," Campbell said.
The Raiders are scheduled to host Mineral Area in a Region XVI matchup at 1 p.m. on Thursday, but Burkey said that may change depending on the weather forecast.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic