Three Rivers dropped to .500 on Monday with a pair of home losses against Mineral Area.
The Raiders dropped game one 3-2 before ending up on the wrong end of a 14-9 game on the back end of the doubleheader.
In game two, Three Rivers (22-22-1, 8-17-1 Region XVI) held a 7-2 lead in the ninth inning before that lead vanished and became a deficit. The Cardinals batted around their order and scored 12 runs in the ninth inning of game one to take the lead and steal the win. The inning featured two home runs and nine total hits, while the Raiders were hindered by a couple of errors after playing a solid game for eight innings.
Mineral Area scored a run in the top of the first after leadoff hitter Caleb Feuerstake drew a walk and was brought home by an error at first base two at-bats later.
Three Rivers' defense held for four scoreless innings after that.
Meanwhile, the offense was rolling. Three Rivers scored in five of the first six innings to build a lead that seemed comfortable until the Cardinals made the comeback.
Game one featured a ton of defense. The Cardinals (23-13, 11-13) scored two runs in the top of the first. They added another in the third before Three Rivers got on the board. Ty'Reik Thomas scored a run to end the Raiders' drought after he hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the third. Zane Wallace drove him in with an RBI single.
After that, though, Three Rivers was unable to generate the tying run as the defense was locked in on both sides.
River Hunt started on the mount for the Raiders. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed five hits, five walks, three earned runs with three strikeouts. Elvin Diaz threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits and a walk while striking out two.
"River gave us a quality start," Three Rivers coach Stacey Burkey said. "He handled some adversity really well in the first inning. We out-hit them and only had four strikeouts but stranded 10 runners."
Elvin Diaz threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits and a walk while striking out two.
"(In game two), outplayed them for 24 of the 27 outs. Austin (Williams) was really good in the start. Beau (Burson) was great in the seventh and eighth, striking out four in a row. ... Their big ninth inning started with a hit-by-pitch that just nicked their hitter, and we couldn't nail it down.
"It would've been nice if that was the seven-inning game instead of the nine."
The two teams will finish up a four-game series with another doubleheader in Park Hills on Tuesday.
Game one is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., and game two will follow at 3 p.m.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic