, Muskogee, OK


June 18, 2014

Three Rivers comes up short in Arkansas

FORT SMITH, Ark. — An unfortunate injury to Three Rivers starting pitcher McKaine Foster eventually led to the Bandits suffering their first loss of the season.

With Three Rivers leading entering the bottom of the fifth in the opening game of Tuesday's doubleheader against Fort Smith Kerwin's, Foster took the mound to warm up. But a throw from catcher Caleb Knight hit Foster square in the back of the head.

Foster had to leave the game and Kerwin's took advantage. The Sportsmen tied it up in the bottom of the fifth and took the lead an inning later as they rallied for a 4-3 win.

Three Rivers lost the late game 9-5 and fell to 12-2.

Through four innings, Foster held Kerwin's (9-0) to one unearned run on three hits. But while warming up to begin the bottom of the fifth, a throw from Three Rivers catcher Caleb Knight caught Foster square in the back of the head.

Foster was down momentarily before being able to get up and walk on his own power, but Three Rivers coach Rusty Fulps decided to take Foster out.

Dillion Guffey came on to pitch for Three Rivers, and the Sportsmen were able to push across a pair of runs — all with two out — to tie it at 3-all. Then in the sixth, Colby DeMato hit a one-out double and scored the eventual winning run on Hunter Wilson's RBI double to left.

"I think (Foster's) fine, he had had a concussion in football before, so we just made sure to get him out of there because he kind of blacked out there for a second, but I think he's fine now," Fulps said.

"That was a freak deal and the game changed right there a little bit. We didn't execute. ... We just didn't do a very good job of executing and we made four errors right there, I don't think we've made four errors all year. We played 12 (previous) ballgames this year and we just didn't execute this game."

Three Rivers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, with all the runs unearned. RBI singles from Preston Whitten and Knight put the Bandits up, 2-0. Drew Wilson then made it 3-0 by crossing home plate on a passed ball.

Kerwin's scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third before tying the score in the fifth.

Whitten went 3-for-3 for the Bandits.

In the second game, Connor Mangham walked seven and gave up three hits in 2 2/3 innings, taking the loss.  Knight was 3-for-4 and Wyat Grooms were 2-for-4.

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