The No. 5-ranked Crowder Roughriders won three of four games in their Region 16 series against Maple Woods by virtue of a doubleheader sweep Friday at Roughrider Field, 3-1 in seven and 12-2 in five innings.
Crowder and Maple Woods split the first two games of their series on Thursday.
Crowder improved to 16-4 on the season and the ‘Riders are back in action Tuesday in Chanute against Neosho County (Kansas) for a single nine-inning contest starting at 1 p.m. at Hudson Field.
The Panthers stand at 5-5 on the season after losing three of four games against their rival Allen, who defeated Crowder 8-6 with a late rally at Roughrider Field.
At the 20-game junction last season, Crowder owned a 15-5 record.
In the opener Friday, sophomore pitcher Ross Carver showed why he’s one of the nation’s leading strikeout artists with 10 strikeouts over his six innings of work. Carver surrendered one run (earned) on five hits and he walked two.
Carver ranks third in NJCAA Division I with 52 strikeouts (behind only a pair of San Jacinto pitchers with more innings pitched than Carver) and fifth in Ks per nine innings.
Carver has signed to continue his academic and athletic career after Crowder with NCAA Division I Dallas Baptist.
Crowder supported Carver with one run each in the second, third, and sixth innings.
Sam Chaput led Crowder’s offensive attack with three hits and he both scored and drove in a run. Brinson Williams and Jack Stroth had the other RBI, while Williams, Stroth, Quinn Cherry, Colten Nix, and Rod Criss rounded out the eight-hit attack with one each.
Chaput doubled to start the second and scored on a Williams single only four pitches later.
With one down in the third, Cherry smacked a single on the first pitch he faced and then he was tagged out at home on a Nix double, but Nix took advantage of the situation and advanced to third. Chaput singled home Nix two pitches later, but he was tagged out at second to end the inning.
In the sixth, Mac Moody worked a walk, advanced to second on a Criss single, and scored on a Stroth single.
Colin Brougham pitched the seventh for the ‘Riders and worked his way through a pair of Maple Woods singles with a pair of strikeouts, including striking out Eddie Wilson swinging to end the game. Brougham earned his second save of the season.
Carver and Brougham combined for 12 strikeouts against two walks.
Kacey Williams took the loss for Maple Woods, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits over six innings and he struck out four and walked two.
In the 12-2 run-rule victory, Crowder picked up three runs in the second, four in the fourth, and five in the fifth to close out the series in style.
It’s clear to see the difference in pitching depth in this fourth game — Crowder pitchers Jared Viertel and Tanner Norris combined for seven strikeouts and two walks over five innings, while four different Maple Woods hurlers combined for 10 walks and two strikeouts over about that same frame.
Crowder’s pitching staff overall ranks seventh in the nation in Ks per nine innings (12.77). Conversely, Crowder’s offense has worked 126 walks and struck out 115 times and those 126 walks total rank ninth in the nation. However, Crowder’s the only team ranked in the top 10 in walks with fewer strikeouts than walks.
Offensively, Jorden Hussein had a pair of hits and RBI in the 10-run victory and he scored three runs. Meanwhile, Michael Chrisman, Cherry, Nix, Chaput, and Williams each had one hit and Chrisman and Cherry each drove in two runs. Nix, Chaput, and Cherry picked up single RBI. Nix and Williams each doubled and Chrisman stole two bases.
Chaput ended the game with a RBI single bringing home Nix, who had just doubled home Cherry.