The gut-punch Three Rivers took in the seventh inning on Thursday that sent them to the consolation bracket of the American Legion Mid-South Regional lasted another full day, and with it, came the end of their run Friday.
C.J. Remmenga of tourney host Hastings, Neb., brought the curtain down with a five-inning no-hitter, eliminating the Bandits in a 10-0 run-rule affair before an estimated home crowd of 1,300.
Carson Foreman went 2 2/3 innings for Three Rives, giving up seven runs on six hits as part of an eight-run third, five or the runs being earned. Kaden Alexander threw 1 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, three runs, two of which were earned. That surge made it 10-0 through three.
Remmenga wasn’t overpowering, striking out just two, and gave up one walk. But Three Rivers, which was hitless in its final 11 at-bats and blew a 4-3 lead in the seventh of Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the other Nebraska entry, Fremont, would continue that frustration at the plate.
Three Rivers coach Mike Whitten said he sensed it coming. He noted the players skipped their bus transport to dinner courtesy of tournament officials after Thursday's heartbreaker and ate nearby the hotel, then a few skipped breakfast before heading to the park Friday morning.
"You have to face adversity and we didn't do a good job with it," Whitten said. "Not that they gave up, we were there physically, there was effort, but mentally we were lacking.
"(Remmenga), we didn't adjust to. We can crush a guy who throws 85 mph, but you give us a 75 mph fastball and a change-up in the 60s, we get on our front foot and hit weak ground balls. We didn't hit one ball solid today."
That retired streak reached 15 before Boone Lasater reached on a one-out infield error in the second. Jayde Roberts was hit by a Remmenga delivery to put two on but Grant Yates grounded into a double play to end the inning.
They went in order in the third before Foreman walked on five pitches with one out in the fourth. Again a twin killing ended the threat when Nick Sizemore grounded to second.
Groundouts by Lasater and Alexander started the fifth. Remmenga capped his no-hitter by getting Yates swinging on a 1-2 pitch.
Three Rivers finishes the year 28-8. Five players are eligible to return for another year, including Foreman, a Warner grad, and two other Connors-bound players, reliever Hayden Earls and Reid Stockman.
"We talked about what we didn't do right, and things even I didn't do right, but quite honestly now they have a taste in their mouths," he said, then turning his thoughts to the team's founding coach, Rusty Fulps, who died two years ago.
"We made it here, and that's something Rusty would have been proud of. He wanted it so bad and never got here. We were told by a few that we might have had the best team here and some of the deepest pitching. But we got kicked in the gut and just didn't recover."