March 16 Three Rivers Community College at Poplar Bluff, Missouri
The State Fair Community College (SFCC) Roadrunners traveled to Poplar Bluff, Missouri on Saturday, March 16 to open a big Region 16 and Missouri Community College Athletic Conference series with Three Rivers Community College. SFCC swept the doubleheader 10-4 and 17-9. The first game was a seven inning contest followed by a nine inning game.
In game one, SFCC led off with three hits, including a double by sophomore outfielder Hayden Bradford. He also scored a run and drove in a run. Freshman pitcher/infielder Jake Lufft also had a double along with freshman outfielder Ian Taylor. Freshman outfielder Brice Pannier drove in three runs. Sophomore infielder Gavin Jones drove in two more. Sophomore outfielder Brady Holden and Lufft scored a pair of runs each.
"We played a complete game in game one," said Roadrunners Baseball Head Coach Jud Kindle. "We got a good pitching performance from (Logan) Bexten. Our approach at the plate was very good. Three Rivers had an extremely good pitcher on the mound and we did a good job of putting together quality at-bats."
Bexten recorded the victory on the mound for SFCC. He pitched five innings, while allowing four runs, three earned on nine hits. He struck out six and walked two.
In game two, the Roadrunners offense had an outstanding game in which four Roadrunners recorded three hits each. Brady Holden had three hits and scored four runs. Lufft had three hits and scored three times. Jones contributed three hits, including a home run, a double and a team-high six RBIs. Freshman infielder Brett Holden had three hits, including two doubles in the game. He drove in four runs and scored twice.
"We hit the ball extremely well all day," said Kindle. "In my opinion, the starting pitcher for Three Rivers was their best pitcher. He was very aggressive with the fastball. We did a very good job of hitting with two strikes. We battled offensively and played well defensively."
Freshman pitcher Matt Perego got the start on the mound in game two for the Roadrunners. He pitched one and two-thirds innings and allowed eight runs, only three of which were earned on seven hits. SFCC got a good relief performance from sophomore pitcher Brady Rentel. He pitched four and two-thirds innings and allowed one run on three hits. Sophomore pitcher Bill Cain came out of the bullpen to earn the win in relief. He pitched one and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and striking out four. Lufft pitched the final inning.
"Our bullpen has been really strong all year for us," said Kindle. "They did a great job in the game of coming in and shutting the door."
March 17 Three Rivers Community College at Poplar Bluff, Missouri
The Roadrunners finished off a four-game weekend sweep on Sunday, March 17 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri with a 12-6 victory in a seven inning contest and 12-10 victory in 11 innings in a nine inning contest. The game was part of the Region 16 and Missouri Community College Athletic Conference schedule for both teams.
In game one, freshman catcher Trey Nichols led the SFCC offense with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. Brett Holden drove in a pair of runs and scored a pair of runs. Brady Holden and Lufft each contributed a double. As a team, SFCC offense pounded out 12 runs on nine hits.
"We had a great starting pitching performance from Jack (Schmedding)," said Kindle. "He threw strikes. Our offense did a great job of finding ways to score runs."
Schmedding got the start on the mound for the Roadrunners. He pitched five innings and struck out seven to pick up the victory. He allowed a pair of runs on five hits in the game.
In game two, the Roadrunners finished off the outstanding offensive series with 12 runs, bringing the weekend total to 51 runs scored in the series.
"We didn't play as well in game two as we could have," said Kindle. "However, we were resilient when Three Rivers fought back. We gave them too many opportunities in that game, but we found a way to be able to pull out a victory."
Brady Holden led SFCC offensively with three hits. He also scored two runs and drove in one. Bradford contributed two hits and three runs scored. Jones added a pair of hits to go along with two RBIs and two runs scored. He also stole two bases. Sophomore catcher Blake Ford had a pair of hits and two RBIs. Lufft added two runs scored and two RBIs. Freshman utility player Ian Jacobs added a double.
Coach Kindle was proud of the way his offense performed over the entire weekend.
"Our hitters have really bought into what we are trying to teach them," said Kindle. "Coach Abernathy and I have evaluated what we needed to do offensively and we worked extremely hard this week trying to make some adjustments to their approaches at the plate and all the hard work paid off."
Sophomore pitcher Conner Burnett got the start on the mound for SFCC. He pitched four innings and allowed three runs. Lufft came out of the bullpen to pitch the final two innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one to pick up the victory in relief.
The Roadrunners record currently stands at 12-10, 7-5 in Region 16, 7-5 in the MCCAC.