The No. 9-ranked Crowder Roughriders improved to 13-3 overall and extended their winning streak to seven games with a sweep Friday against Hutchinson (Kansas), 9-3 and 6-5.
The last six wins during that winning streak have been against three nationally-ranked opponents, No. 4 Iowa Western, No. 5 Jefferson, and No. 20 Hutchinson.
The National Junior College Athletic Association releases its new rankings Tuesday. Teams played the first month of the season with their preseason rankings.
Crowder started its season with six victories and then dropped three straight before going on its current seven-game tear.
On Friday against Hutchison, in the 9-3 victory, Crowder slayed the Blue Dragons with two runs in the second, five in the fifth, and two in the sixth. Meanwhile, Hutchinson managed only single runs in the third, fifth, and sixth.
Crowder sophomore ace Ross Carver ran his record to 4-0 with another impressive performance. In a complete game effort, Carver allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits with 15 strikeouts and two walks over seven innings.
On the season, Carver owns a save and a 3.43 ERA and he’s recorded 42 strikeouts against 11 walks over 21 innings.
Carver’s tied for third in NJCAA Division I in strikeouts, tied with San Jacinto’s Dane Acker (who’s thrown 10 more innings than Carver) and Monroe’s Brandon Backman (who’s thrown one less inning than Carver). Carver’s tied for fourth in K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) at 18, alongside Shawnee’s Bryce Costello and Christian Pearl.
Offensively, sophomore catcher Brinson Williams came through with a three-run double that brought home Freilin Cabrera, Sam Chaput, and Colten Nix.
Crowder scored nine runs on five hits, including Quinn Cherry’s RBI triple in the second and Williams’ big three-run double. Chaput, Jack Stroth, and Jorden Hussein each had the other hits.
Eight of the nine players in the Crowder lineup crossed home plate at least once: Hussein scored twice and Michael Chrisman, Cabrera, Chaput, Nix, Williams, Cherry, and Rod Criss each once.
In the 6-5 victory in nine innings, Crowder scored three in the seventh and finally erased what had been a 4-0 deficit after four innings.
Cherry provided all three runs when he knocked a home run off an 0-1 pitch from Hutchinson freshman Jake Bunz. Nix doubled and Williams singled to set the plate for Cherry.
Crowder overcame five errors.
Nix and Hussein each led Crowder’s 10-hit attack with two and Chrisman, Cherry, Criss, Stroth, Cabrera, and Williams each had one to round out the bats.
Former Neosho High standout and Crowder redshirt freshman Jacob Galbraith worked a pair of walks and finished with two official at-bats.
On the mound, Tanner Norris picked up the victory with 2/3 inning of scoreless relief, while Colin Brougham earned his first save with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and four of his six outs came via the punch out. Brougham allowed no hits and walked none during his effective mound time.