Walks played a pivotal role in the four-game Region 16 series between the No. 3-ranked Crowder Roughriders and the St. Louis Archers, whether the games were played in Kirkwood (Wednesday) or Neosho (Thursday).
In the first three games of the series, St. Louis pitchers combined to issue 23 walks over 17 innings pitched and Crowder scored a combined 45 runs in three wins — 5-1 and 17-0 in six innings on Wednesday and then 23-7 in five innings Thursday.
In the series finale, Crowder pitchers walked 10 Archers — St. Louis walked only four, by comparison — and St. Louis salvaged one game of the four games with a 9-7 win.
Crowder’s score in the first game looked on the scoreboard like the last four digits in a phone number — three in the first, six runs in both the second and third, and finally eight in the fourth.
St. Louis scored four in the third and three in the fourth but it was not enough against the Crowder offensive onslaught.
It was one of those rare games when four different Crowder players had four RBI and two more players drove in three.
Tyler Duncan, Frielin Cabrera, Brinson Williams, and Quinn Cherry — batting second, third, fourth, and sixth, respectively, in the lineup — formed the four RBI quartet and Kobe Morris and Drew Reilly each added three RBI.
All nine players in the Crowder lineup found both the hits and runs column — Morris and Cabrera each had three hits and Morris and Duncan each scored four runs to lead the way.
Ten of Crowder’s 17 hits were good for extra bases — home runs by Cabrera, Duncan, Reilly, and Cherry; a triple by Duncan; and doubles by Cameron Witt, Reilly, Luke Price, Williams, and Morris.
Crowder starter Ross Carver benefited from that hardcore run support to earn the win, allowing seven runs (all earned) on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings and he struck out eight and walked one.
Jack Jumper continued his stellar bullpen work and surrendered one hit over the final 1 1/3 innings. He worked his way through a pair of walks.
In the nightcap, St. Louis trailed 2-1 before plating six runs in the fifth. Crowder’s four runs in the seventh made it a 8-7 contest, but the Archers put on an insurance run in the eighth.
Crowder starter Bryce Bartlett issued seven of the team’s 10 walks, but he took a no-decision as he allowed six runs (five earned) on three hits over four innings. Chase Kyzer took the loss, allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits over two innings and he struck out three and walked one.
Four errors and two hit batters also did not help the ‘Riders alongside the walks.
Offensively, Morris and Duncan each had two hits, Morris drove in three and Duncan two, and Duncan homered and Morris doubled.
St. Louis pitchers limited Crowder to seven hits.
Crowder owns a 24-7 overall and 11-1 Region 16 record. The ‘Riders return home Tuesday for a single, nine-inning game against Independence (Kansas).
The Pirates played a four-game weekend series against Cowley and entered that series with a 6-19 overall record.
Independence’s roster features former Neosho High standout catcher Marcus Crawford, who had a composite .360 batting average, eight runs scored, and five RBI in his first 12 games.
CROWDER 23, ST. LOUIS 7
St. Louis 004 30 — 7 9 2
Crowder 366 8X — 23 17 2
Jack Kane, Branden Bennett (3), Lucas Zurliene (4) and Anthony Rask. Ross Carver, Jack Jumper (4) and Brinson Williams. WP: Carver. LP: Kane. E: Clayton Stephens, Nick DeBeer; Carver, Cameron Witt. HR: Frielin Cabrera, Tyler Duncan, Drew Reilly, Quinn Cherry. 3B: Tyler Duncan. 2B: DeBeer; Witt, Reilly, Luke Price, Williams, Kobe Morris. SF: Cabrera. SB: Cabrera. HBP: William Sprick; Duncan, Witt, Reilly, Colten Nix. LOB: St. Louis 6, Crowder 4.
ST. LOUIS 9, CROWDER 7
St. Louis 000 161 010 — 9 6 2
Crowder 110 010 400 — 7 7 4
Connor Cline, Nick Wiley (4), Austin DesRoche (7) and Chase Jones. Bryce Bartlett, Chase Kyser (5), Colten Weber (7), Tyler Gregg (8) and Tyler Ketterman. WP: Wiley. LP: Kyzer. E: Cline, William Sprick; Tyler Duncan, Luke Price, Kobe Morris, Kyzer. HR: Clayton Stephens; Duncan. 2B: Morris. SF: Stephens, Nick DeBeer; Drew Reilly. SB: Sprick 2; Cabrera, Price. LOB: St. Louis 11, Crowder 5.