The No. 16-ranked Crowder Roughriders improved to 27-9 overall and 16-4 Region 16 with a sweep Monday of Three Rivers at Roughrider Field, 10-0 in five innings and 12-0 in five innings.
Crowder swept four games from Three Rivers and the ‘Riders return to action, weather permitting, Friday at home against Region 16 foe North Central.
Crowder outscored Three Rivers 40-3 in the four-game series and starters Colten Weber and Beaux Bonvillain combined for 10 scoreless innings Monday.
Sophomore shortstop Freilin Cabrera terrorized Three Rivers over the series — one hit in the opening game but then three hits, three runs scored, and five RBI in the 15-2 victory, three hits, two runs scored and three RBI in the 10-0 victory, and three hits, two runs scored, and three RBI in the 12-0 victory. That’s 10 hits, seven runs scored, and 11 RBI in four games.
Crowder hopes the momentum carries forward into the final month of the regular season, especially after recent games against Connors State, Mineral Area, and Johnson County.
“We had a tough stretch, playing some really good people,” Crowder head coach Travis Lallemand said. “We went 2-4 last week. To be honest, in those games, we kinda beat ourselves up a little bit. Mineral, Connors, and Johnson are some of the better teams I think in the area and take that into consideration, we didn’t play well enough against good people and this weekend, we did.
“We didn’t give them anything. We walked few guys. We commanded counts and they’re a very opportunistic offense. If you give them runners, they can hurt you. They had trouble creating anything, because we didn’t give them anything. We played good defense throughout the weekend, I know that we had an error there late, but …
“We needed this, just for the kids to relax and take a deep breath because that middle stretch, we went 6-5 in that third 11. It was a tough go at it, things weren’t going well for us, but they hung in there and again, I talked with them in the middle of the game, our offensive identity is about extending at-bats and battling and nine tough outs. They were this whole series.”
In the first game Monday, Crowder scored three runs in the first and seven in the second, and Weber earned the victory with three hits allowed and eight strikeouts and no walks over five innings.
Cabrera led the offense with three hits, two runs scored, and three RBI, while Colten Nix and Brisnon Williams each had two hits and Sam Chaput, Rod Criss, and Jorden Hussein each had one. Criss drove in two runs and Nix, Michael Chrisman, and Williams each had one.
Nix tripled and Nix, Criss, and Cabrera each doubled.
In the second game Monday, Crowder scored one in the first, seven in the second, three in the third, and one in the fourth, and Bonvillain allowed two hits and struck out five and walked none in five innings of work.
Cameron Tissue and Cabrera each had three hits, Chaput had two, and Nix, Criss, and Jack Stroth each had one. Chaput homered and doubled, Stroth tripled, and Nix and Cabrera each doubled.
On the bases, Cabrera stole two and Tissue and Cross each stole one.