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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • No. 11 Roughriders blank No. 5 Neosho County

  • Just a few minutes before the start of Tuesday’s game at Neosho County Community College, Crowder head baseball coach Travis Lallemand received word that his Roughriders had moved up to No. 11 in the freshly released NJCAA Division I polls. Lallemand has been there enough times to know that rankings at this stage in the game don’t carry a whole lot of weight on the diamond, so he didn’t tell his team.
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  • Just a few minutes before the start of Tuesday’s game at Neosho County Community College, Crowder head baseball coach Travis Lallemand received word that his Roughriders had moved up to No. 11 in the freshly released NJCAA Division I polls. Lallemand has been there enough times to know that rankings at this stage in the game don’t carry a whole lot of weight on the diamond, so he didn’t tell his team.
    He did, however, know the rankings meant two very talented baseball teams were about to hook up. When the dust later settled, Lallemand’s Roughriders stood with a 4-0 shutout over the newly minted No. 5.
    It was a big win for the Roughriders in more ways than one; Not only did they knock off another top five team — they recently defeated then-No. 1 Connors State — but it also further solidified the realization that they’ve discovered a bonafide ace in southpaw pitcher Sam Hilliard. Coming off a pair of dominant wins against superb teams, Hilliard went all nine innings on the mound and shut down the Panthers on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
    “He’s been as dominant as anybody we’ve had in recent years,” Lallemand said of the native Texan. “Two of the clubs he dominated could end up in Grand Junction (Colorado, home of the JUCO World Series).
    “(The Panthers) are a really good club. They’re really athletic. They might be the most athletic club we’ve played all year, so what Sam did against them was phenomenal.”
    While Hilliard was dealing on the mound, the offense was teeing off on Panthers pitching. They hit balls hard all over the field, and the score might have been much worse had most of those scalded shots not been punched where the defenders were.
    “The guys played well,” Lallemand said. “We had a lot of loud outs throughout the day. We swung it well, but didn’t have a lot to show for it as far as production because we hit the ball at them. The guys were really swinging it well.”
    Jordan Dey, Blake Wilfong, Chris Scroggins and Ty White each had two hits, while Garrett Mays, Ryan Lazo and Hilliard had one hit.
    The Roughriders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Mays singled and scored on a single to center by Dey. They got another run in the seventh when Lazo reached on an error and scored on a sac fly by Scroggins to make it 2-0. White drove in the third run on a single to center to score Lazo in the ninth, and Scroggins drove him home on a single to make it 4-0.
    Page 2 of 2 - Crowder is now 34-10 overall and travels to Poplar Bluff, Mo., for four games against Three Rivers CC this weekend. Play begins with a doubleheader — one seven and one nine-inning game — at 1 p.m. Friday. That format repeats itself at noon Saturday to wrap the series.

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