After a season that saw them rack up a 47-13 record, three innings turned out to be what ended it all for the Crowder baseball team as they fell to Maple Woods in the championship game of the Region 16 Tournament 9-6 on Sunday.
A six run fourth inning was the culprit in their first loss to the Monarchs in the double-elimination tournament on Friday. They bounced back to trump them 16-8 on Saturday, however, to force the final game. But the Monarchs scored three in the top of the first and three more in the ninth and the Roughriders failed to counter.
Beau Stoker was a player the Roughriders would assume to forget. After homering twice against them on Friday, Stoker slugged a three-run homer in the top of the first to make it 3-0. It would stay that way until they added another in the fourth to go up 4-0.
The Roughriders scored first in the sixth when Ty White drove home Tony Sandifer with a single to make it 4-1. The Monarchs extended it to 6-1 with a pair of runs in the seventh, but Crowder answered with three in the bottom of the inning behind a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single by White to make it 6-4.
Crowder would add another run in the eighth to make it 6-5, but the Monarchs tallied three in the ninth. Crowder managed to push one across with two out in the bottom of the inning, but the game ended with the tying run at the plate.
“We cut it to one run late and were feeling pretty good about it and then they get three in the top of the ninth,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said. “With our lineup, we still feel pretty good about it. It’s just one of those deals — we just had a bad inning late and it cost us our season.”
The loss was tough for the Roughriders to swallow.
“These guys left everything on the field,” Lallemand added. “I can look back even at the 13 losses on the year and almost all of them we got the tying run to the plate in the last inning. Unfortunately, we came up a few runs short in the postseason.
“I’m proud of them. They did everything they should do. It’s not the loss that bothers you, but it’s the nature of junior college. You send half of them on, and I had just a great relationship with the sophomores. You hate to see them go.”
Chris Scroggins tallied three hits in the game for Crowder, while White had two hits and three RBIs. Cody Althouse, C.J. Webster, Lucas Feddersen and Tyler McKinzie had two hits each. Sandifer and Matt Burgess also had a hit.