While the No. 1 Crowder Roughriders didn’t pick up any games on Region 16 opponent Jefferson College over the weekend — splitting a four-game series — the Roughriders did come home with one that mattered — No. 300 in coach Travis Lallemand’s career.
How fitting was it that the win came against the Vikings? Lallemand picked up his first collegiate save as a player against Jefferson, achieved win No. 100 in the region tournament in 2008 against them, and now win 300 less than four years later. Not one to boast on personal achievements, Lallemand was appreciative of the honor.
“I told the kids its an achievement, but it’s not my personal achievement, it’s them and all those guys before them working hard over the years,” Lallemand said. “It’s a testament to these guys and the guys who have played here before. It does mean something to me, but I wanted to let them know that they’re sharing in it with me.”
After splitting a doubleheader on Saturday, the Roughriders did the same on Sunday. They could have won both games, but a six-run sixth inning by the Vikings in game one erased a 15-10 lead with six outs to go. But he Roughriders responded in game two, bouncing back to hold off a late charge in game two to win 10-9.
The Vikings slugged five homers in the first game, including two by Todd Hinkley. Meanwhile, Crowder’s Sam May also hit a pair over the wall in the game as he led the team with six RBIs. Lucas Feddersen went 4 for 4 in the loss with four RBIs and three runs scored.
Ty White had three hits, Cody Althouse and C.J. Webster had two and Chris Scroggins and Tony Sandifer finished with one.
The Roughriders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two and never trailed. Starting pitcher Cody Jones earned the win after allowing five earned runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings of work. Closer Andrew Schwaab, after allowing four runs in game one, rebounded nicely with a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
With the wind blowing out, both teams took advantage of the jet stream again in game two as Tony Sandifer and Ty White both hit home runs for the Roughriders. Sandifer finished the game with three hits and four RBIs, while White, Matt Burgess and Althouse had two hits apiece. White and Burgess each drove in two runs.
“We did lose some games this weekend, but we passed the adversity test,” Lallemand said. “It was a tough environment to play in. Our resiliency was tested this weekend on the road against a tough opponent. We passed the adversity test and feel pretty good about that part with the kids.
Page 2 of 2 - “Offensively, we swung it pretty well against quality pitching. I think that speaks volumes about what we did on the weekend and what we could have done in the weekend.”
The Roughriders (32-8, 15-3 Region 16) remain a game up on the Vikings in the region standings.
“We can go the rest of the way controlling our own destiny,” Lallemand said of winning the region. “We’re still a game up, so if we want to win the region we just need to keep winning games.”
Crowder is back in action with a road game at Neosho County in Chanute, Kan., today at 2 p.m. The Roughriders return home for a lengthy homestand beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday against Fort Scott Community College.