Tony Sandifer crushed a walk-off double into the right field corner to help Crowder escape Labette Community College 4-3, and cap a sweep of the Cardinal in a doubleheader on Sunday at Roughrider Field.
Sandifer’s smash was an opposite field shot off of Labette reliever Devin Konarik to drive in Cody Althouse in the eighth inning during the nightcap of Sunday’s two-game set. The Roughriders had a much smoother ride in the first game as they cruised to a 9-3 win.
In 15 innings of baseball, the Roughriders dominated all but two of them. A shaky fifth inning in the opener led to three Cardinal runs, and a wobbly sixth in the second game led to three more.
After scoring single runs in the first and third innings, the Roughriders led 2-0 entering the sixth inning of the second game when things unraveled. David Wright and Cody Frederickson each ripped doubles in the inning for the Cardinal before Justin Burgess poked a single to left to score Frederickson and John Cahill to put them in front, 3-2.
But the Roughriders responded in the sixth and drew it even when Josh Johnston singled to lead off the inning, went to third on an Althouse single and scored on an RBI single by Sandifer to make it 3-3.
Following a scoreless seventh, the Cardinal went on to load the bases with two outs in the eighth on two walks and a single, but Crowder closer Andrew Schwaab coaxed a grounder to escape the jam. Althouse then led off the eighth with a single, went to second on Lucas Feddersen’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Sandifer’s poke.
Schwaab earned the victory while working 2 1/3 innings where he allowed two hits, three walks and struck out four. He backed up starting pitcher Jon Woodcock, who struck out nine and walked two while scattering four hits over 5 2/3 sparkling innings.
Their performance in the second game capped a solid day for the Roughriders’ offense as they struck four three runs in the first and five more in the fourth in the opener. Aiding their attack were six Cardinal errors, but credit Crowder’s offense for making them pay.
After reaching on a fielding error in the top of the first inning, Feddersen went to second on an errant pickoff throw before scoring on a double by Matt Burgess to make it 1-0. Ty White later reached on a two-base error to score Burgess with two outs, stole third and raced home with the third run of the game when catcher Dalton Powell’s throw to third sailed into left field.
The Roughriders helped themselves in the fourth, when Althouse, Sandifer, Johnston and Ryan Lazo each drove in runs with hits. C.J. Webster also drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, while Feddersen also added a hit in the inning.
Page 2 of 2 - Their starter in that one, Preston Tarkington, didn’t need much help as he punched out seven batters on two walks and three hits in 4 2/3 innings on the hill. He allowed only one earned run in the fracas, while Robert Smith, Ryan Smith and Cody Jackson combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings the remainder of the way. Jackson, meanwhile, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by striking out the side looking.
“Today we got really good pitching,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said. “Our offense, we put ourselves in good situations with quality at-bats to get an opportunity to score runs, and then the middle of the lineup bats did what they’re supposed to do, drive in runs.”
Sandifer finished with three hits, three RBI and scored a run in the second game, while Althouse collected four hits and scored a pair of runs. Sam May collected a pair of hits in the game, while Burgess and Chris Scroggins had a hit apiece.
Johnston and Lazo both picked up a pair of hits in the first game, while Althouse, Sandifer, Feddersen, Burgess, White and Scroggins all had hits in the opener.
The Roughriders are back in action on Wednesday with a nine-inning affair slated at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan. a 2 p.m., before returning home at 2 p.m. Thursday.