PARSONS, Kan. — Conventional wisdom dictates that early in a baseball season, offense drags behind (especially during cooler weather) and heats up with the weather.
For at least the first four innings Saturday afternoon, that conventional wisdom held true for the No. 2-ranked Crowder Roughriders during their season opener against Labette.
Then, Crowder erupted for eight runs in the top of the fifth and later tallied four more in the eighth en route to a 16-9 win at Marvel Park.
The 'Riders knocked six home runs in the contest, two each by leadoff man Kobe Morris and Quinn Cherry.
Morris opened his sophomore season in style with four runs scored, three hits (a perfect 3 for 3), and four RBI. It was a busy day overall for No. 7, who singled, walked, walked, homered, walked, and homered in his six official plate appearances.
Cherry, a freshman from Harrison (Arkansas), hit a pair of solo homers and scored three runs.
Luke Price hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly for a pair of RBI.
Denver Mullins, a freshman from Cabot (Arkansas), homered and drove in two runs.
Drew Reilly collected three hits and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Crowder's wins leader from last season, Zach Jackson, picked up his first of a new season. Jackson allowed three runs (all earned) on nine hits over four innings, and struck out three and walked none.
Aaron Ashby, a 25th round selection of the Texas Rangers in last June's MLB Draft who decided to come back to Crowder for one more season before heading on to the University of Tennessee, allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits over three innings. He struck out six and walked three.
Tyler Gregg pitched a scoreless ninth.
As standard operating prodecure for non-conference opponents, Labette brought on seven different pitchers, including one whose name had to be looked up to make sure it was not a practical joke, Team Hackler. In his one inning, Hackler's line read all deuces: two hits, two runs (both earned), two walks, two strikeouts, and two homers allowed.
Crowder, weather permitting, returns to action with its home opener Thursday against Labette, a 2 p.m. start at Roughrider Field.
NO. 2 CROWDER 16, LABETTE 9
Crowder 000 181 141 — 16 12 3
Labette 000 212 040 — 9 18 3
Zach Jackson, Aaron Ashby (5), Bryce Bartlett (8), Tyler Gregg (9) and Denver Mullins, Samuel Chaput. Logan Portis, Christian Suk (4), Jordan Graham (5), Team Hackler (5), Cody Oliphant (6), Adam Rodriguez (8), Bryce Hestand (9) and Brendan Ezell. WP: Jackson. LP: Suk. E: Cooper King, Ashby, Jorden Hussein; Oliphant, Rustin Postier, Zachery Bess. HR: Kobe Morris 2, Quinn Cherry 2, Luke Price, Mullins; Ezell. 2B: Tyler Duncan. SF: Frielin Cabrera, Price. SB: King, Duncan, Drew Reilly, Price, Morris. HBP: King, Duncan, Cahput; Izrarel Trevino. LOB: Crowder 11, Labette 14.