In the bottom of the fourth inning, Three Rivers center fielder Ty'Reik Thomas made a diving, over the shoulder, inning-ending catch to save keep two runs from scoring.
It was one-upped when Three Rivers made a game-ending triple play with the potential tying run on second base.
"That was certainly something you don't see every time you come to a baseball game," Three Rivers coach Stacey Burkey said. "It is not how you would draw it up and I don't think anybody thought about a triple play ending it, but we'll take it."
The triple play gave the Raiders a 3-2 win in the nightcap after losing the opener against Rend Lake 8-3 in Three Rivers' home opener Monday at Roger Pattillo field.
With runners on first and second in the top of the seventh following an error and a bunt single, Rend Lake's Nathan Bynum hit a line drive at second baseman Andrew DeLaCruz, who caught it just before the baseball bounced.
DeLaCruz immediately threw to first base for the second out and the Three Rivers dugout started shouting to throw it back to second base.
DeLaCruz then turned around and saw the runner on second was caught well off the bag as well, and Three Rivers turned a 4-3-4 triple play to end the game.
"I wanted to make sure of two outs at least, so I fired it to first," said DeLaCruz, who added that is was his first triple play. "Out of my right eye I didn't see the runner at second, so I just threw it to first. As it happened, we got the chance to make a triple play and we did."
The Raiders were up 3-0 in the fourth after four strong innings from starting pitcher River Hunt. With two on and two out, Justin Lamp hit a deep fly ball to center, and Thomas spun around and started sprinting.
He dove headlong toward the fence for the catch, it what was already his second highlight of the short season.
"Tyreek made a very similar catch to that a week ago," Burkey said. "He is stepping his game up. We always knew he was a good defensive player and he is starting to find the barrel a little bit."
Added Thomas, "I knew it was going to be a tough catch. It was deep right off the bat … I made one last week, I knew it wasn't going to go too far if it hit the ground."
In the opener, Rend Lake jumped out with three runs in the first and five in the third before the Raiders scored three in the sixth.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic