JOPLIN — The No. 3-ranked Crowder Roughriders stayed alive and earned a right to play the Seminole State Trojans for the South Central District title with a 9-5 win Sunday over Delgado at Warren Turner Field.

JOPLIN — The No. 3-ranked Crowder Roughriders stayed alive and earned a right to play the Seminole State Trojans for the South Central District title with a 9-5 win Sunday over Delgado at Warren Turner Field.
The ‘Riders started out slow but a pair of Tyler Duncan home runs and Ty Harris settling down on the mound in the middle innings helped the ‘Riders take control of the game.
Kyle Blackwell’s solo homer and Elvis Peralta’s three-run homer provided much-needed insurance and Kyle Wilson pitched solid relief from the seventh inning on.
Crowder improved to 51-12 on the season and the loss ended Delgado’s district title run at three straight years.
“We came out early on and looked a little bit flat,” Crowder head coach Travis Lallemand said. “A little hangover from (Saturday), but bounced right back and had a couple big swings. It’s not the big swings that really do it, it’s the at-bats leading up to those big swings and having runners on. It’s what we’ve been doing. It’s nice to see those guys come up in clutch situations and drive a ball. Obviously, we came out the benefactor in that.”
Duncan hit consecutive homers in the third and fourth inning, a solo homer in the third and then a three-run blast in the fourth to give Crowder a 5-2 edge. These homers seemed to spark Crowder and get that bad taste from their mouths after Saturday night.
“He’s been special,” Lallemand said. “He got drafted last year by the (Seattle) Mariners (30th round). Obviously, he’s been that guy for us all fall. His numbers are crooked. He’s put up some big numbers for us all year long. Been a big-time bat in front of the middle of our lineup. Elvis and (Kyle) MacDonald have gotten a lot of credit, but Tyler Duncan’s been right there with them every step of the way.”
Redshirt sophomore Blackwell — one of a handful of redshirt sophomores on the roster — provided a run in the seventh after Delgado plated two in the top half of the inning on a Blake Way two-run homer. Blackwell knocked his second homer of the tournament.
“He asked me before going to the plate if we wanted him to take a strike,” Lallemand said. “I said, ‘No, if it shows up, hammer it.’ He shows up after the first pitch, hits it out, and had a big smile on his face. He just took advantage of an opportunity. Guy layed one in there and he hammered it.”
The ‘Riders have not been complacent all season about adding on runs throughout the game, not staying on cruise control over a nine-inning game after taking an early lead.
That was demonstrated in the eighth Sunday.
Michael Miller worked a leadoff walk from Delgado reliever Trevin Stein, who surrendered just one run — Blackwell’s solo homer — before the eighth. Jacob Adams singled for two runners aboard, then Peralta drove an 0-2 pitch out for a commanding 9-4 lead entering the ninth, Peralta’s second homer of the tourney. Once again, the ‘Riders struck on the scoreboard with two outs, something they have done all season.
“That’s what we’ve done all year,” Lallemand said. “We’ve had some depth in the lineup and some tough outs 1-9. In this tournament, we’ve been that other than (Saturday) in Game 2. We’ve been in that situation. We always call it “Nine as One,” there’s one lineup and there’s not a whole lot of breaks in there. Very happy with the way they played today and the swing that Elvis had was even bigger … they had bases-loaded situation and could have wreaked some havoc with us.”
Yes, in the top of the eighth with a 6-4 score, Delgado loaded the bases with two outs, but Wilson recorded the most important of his four strikeouts to preserve the lead.
Brandt Broussard tripled in the ninth and closed out the scoring.
The Dolphins finished their season at 33-18.
Harris earned his seventh win of the season, allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits over six-plus innings. Harris struck out six and walked two in a bounce-back game for the sophomore.
“He was awesome,” Lallemand said. “Last weekend had a tough start (Region 16 championship game against Jefferson) and he bounced back nicely from that. Came out ready to go and his thing is getting out of the gates. He’s kinda a slow starter, settles in nice, maybe overthrows a little bit early. Settled in and gave us six. We were asking for five from him today and he gave us six. We were in the bonus column there.”
The ‘Riders were once again solid in relief in the late innings.
“He’s got really good stuff,” Lallemand said of Wilson. “He’s low-to-mid-90s guy and his slider’s came around. He mixed that in nice and having that guy at the back end, it’s a comforting thing. Hopefully, we can check his pitch count and have him available for (Monday).”

Delgado       101 000 201 — 5 10 2
Crowder       002 300 13X — 9  8 0
Tristan Babin, Trevin Stein (4) and Matt Rykaczewski. Ty Harris, Kyle Wilson (7) and Michael Miller. WP: Harris. LP: Babin. SV: Wilson. E: Rykaczewski, Blake Way. HR: Way; Tyler Duncan 2, Kyle Blackwell, Elvis Peralta. SB: Peralta 2, Cameron Witt. LOB: Delgado 8, Crowder 7.