CHANUTE, Kan. — When Crowder freshman pitcher Brett Brockinton left Tuesday’s game against Neosho County, the score after four innings was 1-0.
Then, against two Crowder relievers, the unbeaten Panthers scored six runs in the sixth and four in the eighth to earn a 11-0 run-rule victory over the Roughriders at Hudson Field in a battle of the No. 7 (Crowder) and No. 13 (Neosho County) teams in the first NJCAA Division I poll of the regular season.
Aaron Meers bashed a game-ending grand slam, typifying the later innings of the game most vividly.
The ‘Riders managed only four hits against Neosho County pitchers Dalton Weaver and Blaine Hanf. Weaver pitched the first five scoreless innings, then Hanf worked the final three of the originally scheduled nine-inning contest.
Weaver gave up three of the four Crowder hits, wile Weaver struck out eight and walked four and Hanf struck out four and walked three.
Kobe Morris, Tyler Duncan, Brinson Williams, and Luke Price each had the hits for the ‘Riders, who dropped to 12-5 on the season. Three of the four hits were singles and Brinson Williams’ double accounted for the lone extra-base hit.
Meanwhile, Neosho County mashed 12 hits, including two homers and five doubles. Crus Aranda and Meers each led the attack with three hits, while Nolan Beets joined the multi-hit parade and Kaleb DeLaTorre, Adam Theis, Brady Garrison, and Marcus McDaniel each had a hit. Garrison, Theis, Aranda, Meers, and DeLaTorre each doubled and Beets homered.
Neosho County improved to 11-0.
Brockinton took the loss, allowing that one run on five hits over those four innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Adam Scoggins allowed six runs (three earned) on four hits over two innings, and struck out six but walked four. Andrew Bradshaw allowed four runs (all earned) on three hits over 1 1/3 innings, and struck out one and walked none.
Crowder returns home Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, for a four-game Region 16 opening series against traditional rival Jefferson.
Like Neosho County on Tuesday, Crowder and Jefferson will feature two nationally-ranked teams, Jefferson at No. 12 after an 11-2 start to the season.
Like Neosho County, Jefferson was not ranked in the preseason poll.
Last time Crowder and Jefferson played, it was for the Region 16 championship at historic Joe Becker Stadium.
The Vikings already own a 4-0 record in Region 16 play after a sweep of Three Rivers.
Crowder and Jefferson are slated to start at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. That could always change depending on the weather.
NEOSHO COUNTY 11, CROWDER 0
Crowder 000 000 00 — 0 4 1
Neosho County 000 106 04 — 11 12 1
Brett Brockinton, Adam Scoggins (5), Andrew Bradshaw (7) and Brinson Williams. Dalton Weaver, Blaine Hanf (6) and Brady Garrison. WP: Weaver. LP: Brockinton. E: Michael Chrisman; Crus Aranda. HR: Nolan Beets, Aaron Meers. 2B: Williams; Garrison, Adam Teis, Aranda, Meers, Kaleb DeLaTorre. SB: Kobe Morris, Samuel Chaput. HBP: Marcus McDaniel, Tanner Fox. LOB: Crowder 9, Neosho County 8.