Perhaps the NJCAA should re-think its preseason top-20 baseball poll.
Solid pitching continues to carry the NJCAA Division I No. 18 Crowder Roughriders baseball team in the early going this baseball season as they got solid performances from four different hurlers and swept No. 5 Seminole State, 3-0, 5-3 on the road Thursday.
The Roughriders (5-1) squared off against one of the top arms in JUCO baseball in right handed pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz, a 2012 second-round draft pick by the New York Mets, in the first game of the doubleheader.
Despite those credentials, however, Stankiewicz wasn’t the best pitcher on the mound Thursday. Crowder starter Chris Caudle out-pitched him, going six innings, allowing five hits, striking out seven and walking none. Stankiewicz, meanwhile, punched out eight, but allowed three runs and eight hits through five innings of work.
The Roughriders jumped on the board early with two runs in the first and another in the third. Ty White, who went 3-for-3 at the dish, drove in a run, as did Chris Scroggins and Tony Sandifer.
Cody Althouse, meanwhile, collected a pair of hits, including a double, while Lucas Feddersen, Sandifer, Matt Burgess, Scroggins and Ryan Lazo each had a hit for the Roughriders. Andrew Schwaab tossed the seventh as he struck out one and walked one to earn the save.
Cisco Factor had two hits for Seminole.
In the nightcap, the Roughriders trailed 3-0 in the fifth inning, before plating a run in the bottom of the frame and tacking on four more in the sixth to win it.
The big blow was delivered in the sixth as Crowder’s C.J. Webster drilled a booming three-run homer to put his team in front for the first time, and for good. His blast would be all the Roughriders would need, as starter Preston Tarkington and reliever Cody Jackson combined to strike out 11 Trojans while walking one.
Tarkington got the win after dazzling with nine strikeouts and a walk while scattering six hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings. Jackson tossed the final frame, striking out two while picking up the save.
Webster and White both had two hits apiece, while Althouse, Burgess and Jordan Dey had a hit apiece.
Billy Love started on the hill for the Trojans and allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Reliever Tyler Kruse went the remainder of the way and was saddled with the loss after allowing four unearned runs on two hits with a strikeout.
“It was a good day,” Roughriders coach Travis Lallemand said. “We got two really good pitching performances again from our starters, and our offense put up enough runs to get the win.
“We had quality at-bats all day. We struck out 14 times, but against those types of arms that they have you’re going to strike out more. We haven’t necessarily played our best baseball yet, but it’s a testament to our team that we’re battling back and doing enough to win games right now.”
Page 2 of 2 - Crowder hits the road again on Sunday for one nine-inning affair at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College at 1 p.m.