The No. 9-ranked Crowder Roughriders split their four-game Region 16 series with doubleheader splits Thursday in Sedalia and Saturday in Neosho.
Crowder honored its sophomores on Saturday and came out with a 15-7 run-rule victory for the split after taking a 9-2 loss in Game 1. On Thursday, Crowder took the opening game with a 2-1 victory and State Fair returned the favor with a 2-0 victory in Game 2.
In the 15-7 victory, Crowder exploded for a 13-2 lead after three innings thanks to a six-run first and a seven-run third. State Fair made it a 13-7 game, before the ‘Riders scored two on a Sam Chaput double to end it in seven.
Eight of the nine players in the Crowder lineup collected one hit and the one player who did not, Freilin Cabrera, scored two runs, including the series-ending run.
No. 4 through No. 7 in the lineup — Colten Nix, Michael Chrisman, Quinn Cherry, and Rod Criss — each came through with two hits and Cameron Tissue, Chaput, Jack Stroth, and Jorden Hussein each had one hit to contribute to Crowder’s dozen.
Chaput drove in three runs and Chrisman, Criss, Stroth, and Hussein each had two RBI. Tissue was the only player without a RBI. All nine players, though, scored at least one run with Stroth crossing home plate three times.
Beaux Bonvillain earned the victory and he allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and four walks over four innings. Jared Viertel pitched the last three innings and he allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
The teams combined for five errors.
In the opener Saturday, Crowder scored two runs in the seventh on a Criss two-run home run, not enough after State Fair plated one in the third, two in the fourth, and six in the fifth.
Sophomore pitcher Ross Carver took the loss and he allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk over four innings. Carver, at one point one of the nation’s leaders in strikeouts and Ks per nine innings, made his first appearance in nearly a month, since a 10-strikeout performance in a victory March 21 against Mineral Area. Carver owns a 6-1 record with a 4.17 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 41 innings.
In the series opener Thursday, Crowder’s Tanner Norris and State Fair’s Logan Bexten battled.
Norris earned the victory and he allowed one run (earned) on three hits with one strikeout and one walk over six innings. Norris improved to 6-1 on the season.
Colin Brougham came on for his eighth save and he picked up two strikeouts over his scoreless inning of work.
Bexten took the loss and he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks over 6 2/3 innings.
Chaput doubled home Mac Moody for the winning run in the seventh.
Crowder’s Colten Weber and State Fair’s Bill Cain battled in the second game of the series, with the outcome reversed.
State Fair scored the game’s only runs with one in the first and one in the seventh.
Weber allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits with five strikeouts and five walks over 7 1/3 innings. Those five walks proved huge.
Cain allowed six hits and struck out 10 and walked none over nine innings. Think he wrapped up Region 16’s pitcher of the week. Guess we’ll find out Tuesday.
Crowder moves to 38-13 overall and ends Region 16 play 25-7. The ‘Riders have three games remaining in the regular season, all played at historic Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin — their second installment of the ‘Battle on the Border’ against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Wednesday (pushed back a day) and a doubleheader Friday against Fort Scott.