n a wild one Tuesday night at Roughrider Field, No. 16 Connors State came away with a 17-13 victory over No. 7 Crowder.
Connors State plated three runs in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, eight in the fifth, one in the sixth, and one in the sixth. That eight-run outburst gave the Cowboys a 15-5 lead.
Crowder pushed across one in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the seventh, four in the eighth, and one in the ninth.
Crowder dropped to 21-6 overall entering their four-game Region 16 series at home against Mineral Area. The ‘Riders play single games Thursday and Saturday and a doubleheader Friday, of course weather permitting.
Crowder finishes out March with nine straight home games. In fact, Connors State marked the start of 11 consecutive games at Roughrider Field.
On Tuesday, Crowder found it very difficult to overcome two factors: 15 free passes issued by seven different pitchers, in addition to three hit batters, and five errors committed. Connors State scored 17 runs and stranded 14 runners.
Crowder tallied 15 hits — including solo home runs by Colten Nix, Freilin Cabrera, and Rod Criss and doubles by Jorden Hussein, Criss, and Michael Chrisman.
Chrisman, Nix, Sam Chaput, Cabrera, Criss, and Hussein each finished with two hits and Quinn Cherry, Brinson Williams, and Andrew Aswegan each picked up one as every spot in the Crowder lineup produced at least one hit. Cherry and Nix both scored three runs, while Chaput drove in four runs, Cabrera three, and Chrisman and Nix two each.
Meanwhile, Ryan Hagen was the only Crowder pitcher to emerge unscathed from Connors State run scoring, as Hagen pitched 1 1/3 scoreless with three strikeouts and one walk.
Crowder relievers Blake Hearn, Andy Roberts, Cristian Quero, and Graham Brunner each walked three Cowboys during their mound time and the Cowboys plated 13 runs against the quartet. Hearn committed a pair of errors and Brunner made one.
Bryce Libke took the loss, allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits over two innings with two strikeouts and two walks.
Crowder’s pitching staff entered Tuesday with a 234-97 edge in strikeouts to walks. Not on Tuesday, as Crowder pitchers walked 14 and struck out 12 Connors State hitters.
Crowder, a team averaging nearly six walks per game offensively, finished with four Tuesday, three against Connors State starter Abel Acosta, who left the contest by the third inning.
Connors State improved to 19-2 overall — 10 straight wins — and the Cowboys returned to action Thursday against Arkansas Baptist.
NO. 16 CONNORS STATE 17, NO. 7 CROWDER 13
Connors State 032 281 001 — 17 12 2
Crowder 013 110 241 — 13 15 5
Abel Acosta, Joe Roundtree (3), Keith Traylor (6), Connor O’Malley (7), Secundino Morales (8) and Mike Coletta. Bryce Libke, Blake Hearn (3), Andy Roberts (4), Cristian Quero (5), Graham Brunner (5), Ryan Hagen (7), Treshon Paschal (8) and Jack Stroth. WP: Joe Roundtree. LP: Bryce Libke. E: Chris Mondesi 2; Hearn 2, Jorden Hussein, Brunner, Freilin Cabrera. HR: Colten Nix, Rod Criss, Cabrera. 2B: Anmi Ortega 2; Hussein, Criss, Michael Chrisman. SF: Andres Gonzalez; Sam Chaput. SB: Darian Luper; Chaput, Andrew Aswegan 2. HBP: Luper 2, Coletta; Aswegan. LOB: Connors State 14, Crowder 7.