The Crowder Roughriders received some hefty praise from the national voters this week as they jumped all the way from No. 6 in the NJCAA Division I National polls to the No. 2 spot, which is believed to be the highest ranking for the team in school history.
They didn’t do anything to disprove those voters on Thursday, as they swept Maple Woods in a doubleheader at Roughrider Field, 7-2 and 3-1.
Coming off a no-hitter in his last time out, Roughriders’ starter Chris Caudle allowed just four hits and two runs (one earned), with five strikeouts and a walk in a complete-game effort in the 7-2 win.
Tony Sandifer delivered a two-run homer for the Roughriders and went 3 for 3 at the dish with three RBIs and two runs scored. Lucas Feddersen also collected two hits, while Jordan Dey, C.J. Webster, Ty White, Chris Scroggins and Cody Althouse each had a hit.
More solid pitching led the way in the nightcap as four pitchers combined to hold the Monarchs to a run on four hits in the 3-1 victory. Cody Jones started on the hill, where the southpaw struck out seven and walked one while scattering four hits and allowing a run in five innings. Connor Eller worked 12/3 scoreless in relief, while Trey Watson went 11/3 and struck out three before Andrew Schwaab closed it out with a scoreless ninth.
With nine hits in the game, the Roughriders (24-4, 7-1 Region 16) plated single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings and made it hold up. Chris Scroggins had three hits in the attack with an RBI and run scored. Ryan Lazo had two hits, while Ashton Roberts, Althouse, Sandifer and Sam May also had hits. They bested Monarchs starter Landon Snyder, who struck out nine in seven innings of work.
“The pitching was good again,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said. “Trey in his new role at the back end of the bullpen, in his first inning in that role was lights out. It’s good to see that, and then Schwaab is Schwaab closing it out for us. It’s a big two wins in region play.”
Two big region wins and two more toward proving the voters, three of which put the Roughriders at No. 1, right.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Lallemand said. “It’s good to be recognized, but it doesn’t change anything we do. We feel like we’re supposed to be there, so we just go on business as usual, but it’s nice to get the recognition for the hard work these guys have done.
“Obviously (we have) one school in front of us, and I think we’ve earned (the ranking). We’ve played a tough schedule. It’s one thing to get there and kind of eek your way in, but we’ve played a schedule that’s definitely tested us. So, like I say, it’s good to get the recognition.”
Page 2 of 2 - The two foes pick up where they left off with another doubleheader slated for today at 1 p.m. to wrap the series at Roughrider Field.