The Joplin Blasters will hold open tryouts for the 2015 season Apr. 25 at Wendell Redden Stadium.

The Joplin Blasters will hold open tryouts for the 2015 season Apr. 25 at Wendell Redden Stadium.

Blasters front office members and manager Carlos Lezcano will be evaluating the talent for the tryouts which begin at 9 a.m.

Players will be expected to wear the proper baseball attire and provide their own equipment — wood bats, gloves and catching gear if necessary. Registration: $50 before Apr. 25, $75 on the day of the tryouts.

Joplin, a new franchise in the American Association, opens its season May 21 against the Wichita Wingnuts.

The Blasters last month signed former MLB pitcher Robinson Tejada, who played for the Kansas City Royals, the Texas Rangers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

For more information on signing up for the tryouts, please email the Blasters at

• Missouri Western softball ran its winning streak to six with a sweep of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association rival Northwest Missouri, taking the Tuesday twinbill 1-0 and 7-2.

After struggling in the first game, Western sophomore centerfielder and Neosho High graduate Morgan Rathmann came back in Game 2 with a 2 for 3 performance with two runs scored. Rathmann opened the scoring by coming home on a wild pitch and she was the second player to cross the plate on Tiffany Gillaspy’s three-run home run in the second.

Western improved to 15-9 overall and the Griffons host the 15-team Apple Market Classic this weekend.

The field includes schools from the MIAA and the Northern Sun: Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma, Emporia State, Missouri Southern, Western, Northwest Missouri, Pittsburg State and Washburn (MIAA); Augustana (South Dakota), Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota State, Northern State, Upper Iowa, Wayne State (Nebraska) and Winona State (NSIC).

Emporia State (No. 11), Winona State (No. 14), Central Oklahoma (No. 16) and Augustana (No. 23) are ranked in the Division II coaches’ poll.

Western plays Minnesota State and Northern State on Friday, Concordia-St. Paul and Augustana on Saturday, and Wayne State and Winona State on Sunday.

The Griffons’ 6-2 MIAA mark places them fifth behind Emporia State (6-0), Pitt State (6-0), Central Missouri (4-0) and Central Oklahoma (7-1).

• Missouri Western baseball defeated Central Missouri 10-5 in a nonconference game Tuesday in St. Joseph.

The Griffons improved to 14-7 overall and 6-0 in the friendly confines. Western returns to MIAA action with a four-game weekend series against Washburn (16-3 overall, 10-2 MIAA) in Topeka, Kansas’ capital city.

Former Crowder pitcher Richie Peoples owns a 4-1 mark and 2.33 ERA out of the Griffon bullpen, with three saves and 17 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. Peoples took his first loss over the weekend during the split of a four-game series with Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kansas.

• The Ouachita Baptist (Arkansas) Tigers look to end a three-game losing streak when they begin a three-game Great American Conference series against the Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils on Friday.

Former Crowder pitcher Connor Eller owns a 5-0 record and 2.40 ERA for Ouachita Baptist, striking out 36 and walking 12 over 48 2/3 innings. In his last outing, Eller picked up a victory against Southern Arkansas — Ouachita Baptist’s last victory — with a complete-game effort, allowing two runs on nine hits over nine strong.

Eller recently won GAC pitcher of the week for his performance against Southeastern Oklahoma, subduing the Savage Storm with a seven-inning shutout. Eller struck out six, walked two and gave up three hits in his fourth win.

Ouachita Baptist is the Division II school in Arkadelphia also attended by wrestlers Dallas Smith, Nate Rodriguez and Payne Hatter.

• Former Crowder player and Wichita State junior Sam Hilliard helped the Shockers sweep Western Illinois on Tuesday at Eck Stadium, 13-6 and 18-2.

In the 13-6 victory, Hilliard went 1 for 3 with a run scored and one RBI. Hilliard drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

In the 18-2 victory, Hillard went 1-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Hillard walloped his third double of the season. The Shockers plated 18 runs on 10 hits and four Western Illinois errors. The Leathernecks also walked 10 Shockers, while Wichita State pitchers Jeb Bargfeldt and John Hayes each walked none.

On the season, Hilliard’s batting .262 with no home runs and six RBI and on the mound, he owns a 0-2 mark with a 4.64 ERA in five appearances, four starts. Hilliard played one season for Crowder, with his freshman season at Navarro (Texas).

Wichita State improved to 8-12. The Shockers return to action Friday, opening Missouri Valley Conference play with a three-game series against the Salukis of Southern Illinois in Carbondale.

• Texas A&M improved to 22-0 Tuesday with a 11-2 victory over Prairie View A&M at Blue Bell Park.

The Aggies own a 3-0 record in the Southeastern Conference before a three-game weekend series beginning Friday against Alabama.

Former Crowder pitcher Cody Whiting owns a roster spot for the Aggies, making a single appearance from the bullpen this season.

With their sizzling hot start, Texas A&M sits No. 5 in the latest NCBWA poll, behind No. 1 TCU (14-2), No. 2 LSU (18-2), No. 3 Florida (18-3) and No. 4 Vanderbilt (16-4).

• Former Crowder pitcher Andrew Schwaab and former Webb City standout Breckin Williams play for the Missouri Tigers, one of many salty teams in the loaded SEC.

Williams owns a 3-0 mark with a 0.77 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings, while Schwaab stands with no record and a 1.10 ERA with 12 Ks in 16 1/3. Schwaab made a rare start Tuesday against Air Force, throwing a pair of innings.

Missouri (16-5, 3-0) hosts South Carolina (17-4, 3-0) this weekend for three games.

• The Virginia Tech Hokies open a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series Friday against Clemson.

Former Crowder pitcher Jon Woodcock owns a 2-1 mark for the Hokies, wins against Mercer and Toledo with a loss against Wake Forest.

Virginia Tech (10-10) recently swept a three-game series against No. 1 Virginia, the Hokies’ first sweep of a nationally-ranked opponent in school history. The losses dropped Virginia from the top spot all the way to No. 9.

• The William Woods Owls (NAIA) own a 15-5 mark entering their game Friday against Williams Baptist College (Arkansas), the start of a three-game series.

Through stats of 18 games, former Crowder player Jordan Dey owns a .293 batting average with a team-high six home runs and a team-high 19 RBI, and his six homers, as well as two doubles, give Dey a team-high .638 slugging percentage.

Dey is a native of Sedalia.