A comeback victory kicked off Crowder’s run at a region championship on Wednesday as they downed St. Charles Community College 7-3 in the first round of the Region 16 Tournament at Wilson-Rozier Field.
After falling in a 2-0 hole in the top of the first inning, the top-seeded Roughriders wriggled out of a 3-1 deficit in the fifth when they scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, before adding single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
After a pair of weak base hits touched off a two run first for the Cougars, the tournament’s eight-seed, the Roughriders got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Cody Althouse rocketed the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first over the left field wall to make it 2-1.
“That helped ease the tension in the dugout,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said. “That was a situation where one swing cuts the deficit in half and it takes a little momentum away from the other dugout.”
The Cougars answered with a run in the top of the fourth to make it 3-1, but their time on top wouldn’t last as Althouse again wound up in the middle of a run-producing situation in the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out in the inning, Althouse drew a walk to force home a run and make it 3-2. Chris Scroggins followed with a single to score Lucas Feddersen and Ryan Lazo to give the Roughriders a 4-3 lead.
Ty White reached on an error to lead off Crowder’s sixth, went to third on a Feddersen single and scored when Sam May singled to left to make it 5-3. They made the Cougars pay for another mistake in the seventh when Scroggins reached on an error, went to third on a single by White and scored on a single by Matt Burgess to make it 6-3.
Crowder manufactured its final run in the eighth when Lazo singled and stole second base with one out. He moved to third on a groundout and then scored on a passed ball.
Eight of the nine Roughriders in the starting lineup had at least one hit. The one who didn’t, Lazo, still managed to score twice.
“The top of the lineup was key for us today and some of the bottom guys had good days, too,” Lallemand said. “We had a lot of loud outs again today, hit a lot of balls hard right at people. Even outs were productive confidence builders.”
Southpaw freshman Cody Jones earned the victory after battling through six gutsy innings. He scattered three runs (two earned) on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Chris Caudle, Preston Tarkington and Andrew Schwaab each worked a scoreless inning in relief.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s a tribute to Cody because he just kept pitching and pitching,” Lallemand said. “For a freshman to step up in that manner that was pretty nice to see. They fouled off a lot of pitches, but he just kept pounding the strike zone and that’s what he’s been doing all year.”
Feddersen and May both had two hits apiece, while Althouse, Scroggins, Tony Sandifer, Burgess, White and C.J. Webster had one each. Althouse and Scroggins each had two RBIs, while White and May drove in one.
The Roughriders (44-11) face fifth-seeded St. Louis Community College today at 4 p.m. at Wilson-Rozier Field in Farmington, Mo.