Roughriders start season on high note

Ryan Land
Sports Editor

The Roughrider baseball team’s overall season record became 11-3 after completing the weekend sweep against Marshalltown Community College on March 1-2 at Roughrider field.

“We really threw the ball well all weekend,” said Travis Lallemand, head men’s baseball coach and physical education instructor. “With the temperatures and wind blowing all weekend, offensively, we scratched runs together and we came up with some clutch hits. Our pitching carried us out that whole weekend.”

After winning the season opening game at Seminole, the team lost the second game to the Seminole Trojans, 5-10. The next day, the Roughriders would travel to Miami, Okla. to face off against rival NEO A&M Community College, but would lose a close game to the Norsemens, 6-7.

Holding an overall season record of 1-2 after Feb. 16, momentum would start to play in favor for Crowder, as the team defeated Labette Community College in both matchups on Feb. 18, 4-2 in the first game and 11-3 in the second.

Continuing to ride the wave of momentum, Iowa Western Community College, based out of Council Bluffs, Iowa, came to Neosho for a weekend double header on Feb. 22-23. The Roughriders would win three out of the four games during their stay, as they lost the third game of the series, 4-0. At the end of the weekend, their overall season record would improve to 6-3.

Coffeyville Community College would be the next opponent to face Crowder at home. The Roughriders would have no problem taking down the Red Ravens though, as they defeated them, 9-2, in a single inning game. The win would improve the team’s season record to 7-3.

Before the March 1-2 weekend double header against Marshalltown, the team had yet to earn a weekend sweep of an opponent. After facing the Tigers, the team had the go ahead to check that off their list of accomplishments for their 2014 season.

With the good start to the season, Lallemand, who is in his ninth season as head coach of the Roughriders, believes that the team is starting to peak at the right time.

“Each game, somebody steps up to help us win,” Lallemand said. “11-3 is a really good start based on our schedule, but we’re not satisfied with it obviously. It’s a good start with a young group of players, so we’re just trying to grow each time we play and learn from our mistakes and praise the good things that happen and move on to the next day.”

As the team prepares to play in their first Region 16 game against St. Louis Community College at 1 p.m. on March 16, Lallemand remembers that even the non-region games still count towards the post-season in any sort of way.

Lallemand explained, “That’s why we play the schedule we play early. It prepares us for region play and all the games count. The region games goes for our seeding and national rankings and all the things like that. With the schedule we play, I feel like we’re ready to go into March 15

Mark Reyes, sophomore #13 general studies major, believes that confidence is driving the team to succeed thus far in the season.

“We’re really confident,” said Reyes. “We’re down four runs and we don’t have any problem coming back. We’re just really confident in our batters, our offense, our defense, all of it.”

The Roughriders will host Des Moines Area Community College in a five game series on March 7-9. Check for the full schedule.