Alex Cauley hit a walkoff single to ensure a weekend split for the Raiders. Three Rivers won the finale of its four-game series with Marshalltown 4-3. Marshalltown won Sunday's opener 4-3. On Saturday, the Raiders won their home-opener 4-1 before Marshalltown won the nightcap 9-1. "It was a fun series because we could have easily won four games and the four games could have gone the other way," Three Rivers coach Tyler Smith said. The Raiders took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning Sunday when the Tigers nearly batted around.
Marshalltown's No. 9 hitter Weston Durman was hit by a pitch, and the next six Tigers reached first base. Marshalltown's Bryan Morales doubled to tie the game, and the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. The Raiders got a pair of force outs at home to preserve the tie, and then got a groundout to short to go into the bottom of the seventh. "He figured out how to get it done, and we had all the momentum," Smith said. Leadoff hitter Stefan Turino then singled with one out and advanced to second on an error. With two outs and a 1-1 count, Cauley connected for an RBI single to center. "It was really fun, good for the guys, the kids were excited. We've been preaching for the past couple of weeks that we were going to be tested," Smith said. "It shows some competitiveness in our guys and the ability to succeed in some pressure situations, which is really good to see." Cauley also doubled and scored in the fourth inning to finish 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Mason Libla and Cade Cancilla also scored.
Lachlan Waite (1-0) earned the win for Three Rivers (7-3) after taking the mound with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. In Sunday's opener, Marshalltown (3-5) scored four runs in the fourth inning, taking a 4-2 lead at the time, and held off Three Rivers in the seventh. Turino, representing the tying run, singled with two outs in the seventh and stole second, but Marshalltown got Andrew Lara to fly out to center to end the game. "We had a chance to win and just didn't get it done. That's baseball," Smith said. Lane Baremore drew a walk and scored in the second to give the Raiders the lead, and Hunter Gray singled and scored in the third. Turino and Kolten Poorman each had two hits and Turino stole two bases. Mason Morgan (0-1) pitched 3 1/3 innings in the loss and allowed four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Chad Donze (1-0) won the home opener on Saturday after pitching five innings and allowing three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Austin Brock got a two-inning save with three hits and three strikeouts. Poorman scored twice after going 1 for 3 with a walk. Cauley and Libla each had two RBIs. Libla finished 3 for 3 while Baremore had two hits and a run.
The Raiders led the nightcap 1-0 heading into the fifth inning when Marshalltown broke through with four runs, including a three-run home run by Ernesto Moreno Jr. "We had all the momentum going for awhile, they took it back and we just weren't able to get it back once they got the momentum," Smith said. The Tigers added three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to give Cody Bond (0-2) the loss. Bond pitched 4 1/3 with three walks and five strikeouts. The only hit he allowed was the home run. Poorman had two of Three Rivers' six hits. Crowden was 1 for 2 with a run. Three Rivers will host Williams Baptist JV on Tuesday at Poplar Bluff High School, and will play at Mineral Area on Thursday before hosting the Cardinals at noon Saturday. "Saturday will be a really big day with the Raider Reunion," Smith said. "It's going to be a fun weekend. Region XVI games are really what matters, so we're excited to get into region play and see what happens.
Scott Borkgren - Daily American Republic