Crowder falls 7-6 in first-round game at NJCAA World Series

May 27—The Crowder College Roughriders baseball team fell 7-6 to Texas' Blinn College in their first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series on Sunday in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Blinn put a run up on the board in the top of the third inning, when Cade Climie smacked a solo homer over the right field fence. Crowder answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame when Joey Morton drove home Easton Swofford with a single to left center field.

Tony Vernars put Blinn up 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Coy DeFury. Again, the Roughriders had an answer. Cole Kitchens hit a two-run homer to right field that scored Ethan Fender and gave Crowder a 3-2 advantage.

Blinn tied the game in the top of the fifth frame when Tanner Reaves scored on a wild pitch. The Pirates took a 4-3 lead when Climie scored on another wild pitch. Blinn extended its lead to 5-3 when Caden Ferraro scored on a third errant pitch.

The Roughriders closed the gap to 5-4 when Kitchens hit a single that scored Brock Bearden in the bottom of the fifth.

Blinn held its biggest lead of the game after Climie made it a 7-4 contest with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth that plated Reaves.

Fender answered in the bottom of the inning, when he hit a solo shot over the left field fence to bring the Roughriders within two runs at 7-5.

Kolton Reynolds drove in Swofford in the bottom of the ninth to bring Crowder within a run at 7-6, but that is all the Roughriders could muster.

Fender led Crowder after going 3 for 5 at the plate with an RBI and two runs. Kitchens finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run.

Climie finished 3 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs for Blinn.

Crowder starter Jackson Murry gave up three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking one in four innings of work. Karsen Richard was saddled with the loss after giving up two runs on two pitching errors with no hits an four walks.

Lucas Davenport earned the win for Blinn after giving up five runs on 12 hits while striking out five and walking none in seven innings.

Crowder will now have to battle back from the losers' bracket in the double-elimination tourney. The Roughriders will face the loser of Monday's game between Southern Nevada and South Carolina's Florence Darlington in an elimination game at 9 a.m. Tuesday.