The No. 9-ranked Crowder Roughriders split a Tuesday doubleheader at Roughrider Field against Neosho County (Kansas), winning the first game 8-4 and losing the second 12-7.
Big innings were the story Tuesday, as all 12 runs in the first game were scored in two half-innings and then both teams combined for six multi-run innings in the second game.
In the 8-4 victory, Crowder trailed 4-0 after Neosho County plated four runs in the second and then, in the fifth, Crowder awakened from its slumber and produced eight runs.
Michael Chrisman started the rally with a leadoff double against Neosho County hurler Brandon Anderson. Quinn Cherry singled and Chrisman scored to put Crowder on the board. Rod Criss doubled in Cherry. With one down, Criss advanced to third on a Jorden Hussein single and then scored on an error. Freilin Cabrera, Sam Chaput, and Colten Nix hit consecutive RBI singles and Chaput scored on an error. Cherry singled home Nix to close out the scoring.
Crowder finished with 12 hits against three Neosho County pitchers and the hits column down Crowder’s lineup read like a dance step instructional — 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2.
Cabrera, Nix, Cherry, and Hussein each had two hits and Cameron Tissue, Chaput, Chrisman, and Criss each had one.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Beaux Bonvillain earned the victory and he allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks over five innings. Tanner Norris closed it out with two scoreless innings and surrendered one hit along with one strikeout and one walk.
Neosho County had three big innings to earn the split — three in the second, five in the fifth, and three in the seventh to generate 11 of their 12 runs. Crowder managed one in the second, three in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh.
Connor Jeffers and Andrew Brautman hit consecutive RBI singles to put the Panthers on the board.
Nix and Chrisman hit consecutive doubles in the Crowder second and it proved to be a doubles day for Crowder’s first baseman Nix.
Neosho County scored on a RBI groundout in the fourth and then brought out the big shots in the fifth to produce a 9-1 lead — namely Khalil Thrasher’s three-run triple.
Crowder answered with a Criss RBI double and a Cameron McClure two-run homer in the fifth and then a Cherry sacrifice fly and a Hussein walk with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Neosho County, though, would go Allstate in the seventh with three insurance runs coming in the form of a Brady Garrison three-run homer. Neosho County scored half its runs on two hits — Thrasher’s triple and Garrison’s homer.
It could have been worse for Crowder, but freshman center fielder Criss made an outstanding catch against the center field wall to rob Daegan Brady of a two-out extra base hit. How outstanding of a play was it? Neosho County’s third base coach waited near third base to congratulate Criss on his catch en route to the Crowder dugout.
Nix connected on a double in the seventh and he scored on a Chrisman sacrifice fly. That sacrifice fly marked two outs for Crowder and on the next pitch, Cherry popped out to Garrison to end the game.
Crowder, 32-10 overall and 20-4 Region 16, returns to Region 16 competition Friday and Saturday with road doubleheaders against St. Charles.
Crowder plays its first of two games Tuesday against rival Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at historic Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin.
Crowder advanced five spots from No. 14 to No. 9 in the latest NJCAA Division I national rankings.