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Pittsburg caps off regular season with win over Nevada

WATCH: Pittsburg tops Nevada 5-3 to close out the regular season Wednesday.

Pittsburg finishes the season 3-0 against Missouri opponents, with wins over Joplin, Carl Junction and Nevada.

“Obviously you want to go compete against those guys. They’re all really good teams that you know are going to be well-coached and they play a lot of baseball,” says Pittsburg head coach Keith Matlock on facing the Missouri programs, “For whatever reason, it does seem to amp things up a little bit more, I suppose just because it’s kind of an area thing. We like to go play the Missouri teams, because we know they’re going to be good baseball clubs that are coached well, and we’re going to have to come out and compete and play well to get a win.”

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Crowder aims for 6th regional title under Lallemand

JOPLIN, Mo. – Crowder is the #1 seed heading into the Region 16 Tournament where they will compete for their sixth regional title under head coach Travis Lallemand.

“[The teams’] job is to uphold the standards of the program and the standard is to be at a high competitive rate in May,” Lallemand says. “I think that’s more of an environment around our program as much as anything.”

“It’s pretty cool to just wear the name ‘Roughrider’ across your chest,” says Crowder catcher, Jack Stroth. “To come out here and be able to represent the wonderful program that’s been set before us and keep representing this wonderful program.”

This team has been working towards postseason success since the first day of the season.

“We’re not preparing for the tournament today,” Lallemand says. “We started preparing way back in August.”

But the Roughriders are keeping their postseason preparations simple.

“We don’t change our mindset or anything from the postseason to the regular season,” Stroth says. “We just continue to show up and play the game that we’ve been playing.”

“In my opinion, there’s not a whole lot of decisions to be made in the postseason,” Lallemand adds. “You just simply look back at your 52-game schedule and see what worked and repeat those things.”

Crowder enters the tournament weekend with a 46-6 record over 52 games.

“We’ve got some ‘fear bats’ in the lineup, as we call them,” Lallemand says of the teams’ strengths. “Guys that can put up some damage swings and that results in some big innings for us at times.”

Clutch hitting is another key.

“Winning twos is a big thing in winning championships,” Lallemand adds. “If you can win with two outs and you can win with two strikes it increases your chances a lot.”

The strategy for game 53 isn’t anything different.

“We have a saying around here and it’s just, “Be who we are,” Lallemand says. “That’s all we can ask for out of our players and if we can do that, it increases our chances for success.”

Crowder will play their regional tournament opener against Metropolitan on Thursday afternoon at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin.

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Frontenac’s Raven Warren signs to Allen CC softball

FRONTENAC, Kan. – Frontenac High School senior Raven Warren signed to continue her softball career at the college level on Wednesday.

Warren, who plays 3rd base for the Raiders, signed to play at Allen CC in Iola, Kansas.

“It means so much to me. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was 10. I’ve worked really hard, and I’ve played as much ball as I can to get here,” Warren says, “I liked the coaches at Allen, and they had some really good philosophies that stuck out to me, and I thought it would be a really good fit for me.”

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Pomeroy named 1st team All-MIAA; Nine Gorillas earn All-Conference honors

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

Nine members of The Pittsburg State University baseball team have earned All-MIAA honors today (May 12) following a vote of the conference head coaches.

Junior utility player Dawson Pomeroy earned first-team All-MIAA honors, while junior starting pitcher David Henderson and freshman outfielder Ryan Koval garnered second-team All-MIAA accolades. Junior second baseman Mason Hartman and sophomore outfielder Aaron Gerdes were named to the third-team All-MIAA squad, while junior shortstop Cruz Aranda, junior starting pitcher Peyton Ingalls, junior first baseman Garrett McGowan and junior relief pitcher Justin Root all received honorable mention All-MIAA recognition.

In addition to his All-MIAA honors, Gerdes also was named to the MIAA Gold Glove squad.

Pomeroy (Topeka) has started 33 games for the Gorillas, batting .273 with 24 runs scored, four doubles, six home runs and 22 RBIs. On the mound, he has made nine relief appearances, posting a 1-0 record with five saves and a 2.25 ERA.

Henderson (Lenexa, Kan.) has made 12 starts on the mound for the Gorillas, posting a 7-3 record with a 3.18 ERA. He has allowed just 55 hits in 68.0 innings and registered 61 strikeouts.

Koval (Olathe, Kan.) has started 38 games. He’s hitting .348 with 34 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 32 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He ranks third in the MIAA in triples this season.

Hartman (Wichita) has started 37 games and batted .257 with 30 runs scored, three doubles, 10 RBIs and a team-leading 19 stolen bases. He ranks second in the MIAA in stolen bases this season.

Gerdes (Omaha, Neb.) is sporting a team-leading .358 batting average with 23 runs scored, eight doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs in 35 games played. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 72 total chances in the outfield.

Aranda (Salina, Kan.) has started all 39 games for the Gorillas, batting .325 with 36 runs scored, four doubles, two home runs, 33 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. He ranks third in the MIAA in stolen bases.

Ingalls (Parker, Colo.) has a 6-1 record with a 5.65 ERA on the year. He’s made 14 appearances, 10 starts, and recorded 50 strikeouts in 51.0 innings of work.
McGowan (Blue Springs, Mo.) has started 38 games for the Gorillas, batting .270 with a team-leading 39 runs scored, 11 home runs and 39 RBIs. He ranks in a tie for eighth place in the MIAA in home runs and he ranks ninth in the league in runs and RBIs.

Root (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) has made a team-leading 18 pitching appearances on the season. He has a 3-1 record with two saves and a 2.88 ERA in 34.3 innings of work.

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Parish, Stevenson headline MSSU All-MIAA honorees

JOPLIN, Mo. – Zach Parish is the MIAA Pitcher of the Year.

Again.

Parish earned the honor for the second straight season on Wednesday. Parish became the NCAA Division II all-time strikeout leader this season – with 479 career strikeouts.

His catcher, Tommy Stevenson, has been named the MIAA Freshman of the Year. Stevenson led the MIAA in doubles this season, and is 4th nationally in the category. He his .329 this year with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 49 RBI.

Ten total MSSU players earned All-MIAA honors, including Troy Gagan – who joins Parish on the All-MIAA 1st team.

RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:

Missouri Southern senior lefty Zach Parish has been named the MIAA Pitcher of the Year, while catcher Tommy Stevenson was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year as the league announced its postseason honors today.

Parish and Stevenson were part of ten Lions to earn MIAA honors this season. Parish was joined on the All-MIAA first-team by Troy Gagan, while Stevenson and Jordan Fitzpatrick were second-team selections. Will BausingerJoe Kinder and Henry Kusiak were named third-team picks, while Dexter Swims and Scott Duensing were honorable mention picks.

In addition to the All-MIAA teams, Parish and first-basemen Matt Miller earned Gold Glove honors as the top defensive players at their positions.

Parish earns the top pitching honor in the league for the second season in a row (there were no post season honors in 2020). Parish became the NCAA Division II all-time leader in strikeouts this past week as he struck out eight in a win against Rogers State. In his career, Parish now has 479 strikeouts.

This season, Parish leads the MIAA and ranks third nationally in strikeouts. He is second in the MIAA and third nationally in wins, while ranking first in the MIAA and sixth nationally in WHIP. He ranks first in the MIAA and eighth nationally in hits allowed per nine innings, while ranking first in the MIAA and fourth nationally in ERA and first in the MIAA and third nationally in starts. Currently Parish is the active career leader in all of college baseball (d1, d2, d3) in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and starts.

Stevenson leads the MIAA and ranks fourth nationally in doubles this season. He is second nationally among freshmen in that category. Stevenson also ranks fourth in the MIAA in home runs, second in RBIs and fifth in total bases. This year, Stevenson is hitting .329 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 49 RBIs. The 49 RBIs are third-most in Division II amongst freshmen.

Gagan ranks third in the MIAA and 7th nationally in doubles, while leading the MIAA in hits and ranking seventh in on-base percentage. Gagan ranks sixth in the MIAA in runs and fourth in both slugging and total bases. This year, he leads the Lions with a .394 batting average and has 18 doubles, nine home runs and 35 RBIs.

Fitzpatrick has been a sparkplug for the Lions at the top of the order. This year, Fitzpatrick leads the MIAA and is fourth nationally in doubles, while leading the MIAA and ranking 13th nationally in hits. He is fourth in the league in home runs with four of his 12 this year coming to lead off the game. He is third in the MIAA in RBIs, while ranking second in slugging and total bases. Fitzpatrick is hitting .376 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 46 RBIs this year.

Kinder leads the team and ranks third in the MIAA in home runs with 13 this year, while ranking seventh in slugging and ninth in total bases. He is hitting .324 with 35 runs and 32 RBIs. Kusiak ranks fifth in the MIAA in hits, while ranking eighth in home runs and RBIs. He is hitting .343 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. Bausinger is 6-2 this year with 80 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched. He has one complete-game shutout and opponents are hitting just .253 against the righty.

Duensing leads the MIAA and ranks third nationally in appearances with 21 on the season. He has been the Lions’ workhorse out of the bullpen, finishing the regular season with a 3-3 record and 26 strikeouts. Swims has come on as of late for the Lions. The 2019 MIAA Freshman of the Year, Swims is hitting .298 this season with 14 doubles and 29 RBIs. In his last ten games, Swims is hitting .438 with six doubles and a .537 on-base percentage.

Miller has proved to be one of the best defensive first basemen in the league. The sophomore had a .992 fielding percentage this year with just two errors in 251 chances.

The Lions will open up the 2021 MIAA Baseball Championships this weekend when Southern plays host to Central Oklahoma in a best-of-three series at Warren Turner Field starting on Friday.

The complete All-MIAA list is below.

2021 MIAA Baseball Awards
Player of the Year – Dusty Stroup, Third Base – Central Missouri
Pitcher of the Year – Zach Parish – Missouri Southern
Freshman of the Year – Tommy Stevenson, Catcher – Missouri Southern

Coach of the Year – Jake Hendrick – Northeastern State

2021 All-MIAA Baseball Teams
First-Team
Starting Pitcher – Mason Green – Central Missouri
Starting Pitcher – Zach Parish – Missouri Southern
Starting Pitcher – Nic Swanson – Northeastern State
Relief Pitcher – Evan Rathburn – Central Missouri
Catcher – Cooper Minnick – Emporia State
First Base – Cole Taylor – Central Missouri
Second Base – Blaze Brothers – Northeastern State
Shortstop – Alex Madera – Central Missouri
Third Base – Dusty Stroup – Central Missouri
Outfield – Troy Gagan – Missouri Southern
Outfield – Josh Schumacher – Central Missouri
Outfield – Erik Webb – Central Missouri
Designated Hitter – Brady Michel – Emporia State
Utility – Dawson Pomeroy – Pittsburg State

Second-Team
Starting Pitcher – Luke Anderson – Central Oklahoma
Starting Pitcher – Brock Gilliam – Washburn
Starting Pitcher – David Henderson – Pittsburg State
Relief Pitcher – Chase Plymell – Central Missouri
Catcher – Tommy Stevenson – Missouri Southern
First Base – CD White – Northeastern State
Second Base – Peter Carlson – Northwest Missouri
Shortstop – Kyle Crowl – Central Oklahoma
Third Base – Alex Crouch – Missouri Western
Outfield – Micah Evans – Central Missouri
Outfield – Jordan Fitzpatrick – Missouri Southern
Outfield – Ryan Koval – Pittsburg State
Designated Hitter – Brett Ingram – Washburn
Utility – Devin Beard – Newman

Third-Team
Starting Pitcher – Jake Barton – Emporia State
Starting Pitcher – Will Bausinger – Missouri Southern
Starting Pitcher – Collin Jones – Central Missouri
Relief Pitcher – Dakodah Jones – Northeastern State
Catcher – Garrett Takamatsu – Central Oklahoma
First Base – Connor Quick – Northwest Missouri
Second Base – Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli – Washburn
Second Base – Mason Hartman – Pittsburg State
Shortstop – Joe Kinder – Missouri Southern
Third Base – Henry Kusiak – Missouri Southern

Outfield – Brandon Bradshaw – Rogers State
Outfield – Parker Dunn – Washburn
Outfield – Aaron Gerdes – Pittsburg State
Utility – Blake Carroll – Emporia State
Includes tie in voting

Gold Glove Team
Pitcher – Zach Parish – Missouri Southern
Catcher – Cooper Minnick – Emporia State
First Base – Eric Hinostroza – Washburn
First Base – Matt Miller – Missouri Southern
Second Base – Blaze Brothers – Northeastern State
Shortstop – Alex Madera – Central Missouri
Third Base – Dusty Stroup – Central Missouri
Outfield – Brandon Bradshaw – Rogers State
Outfield – Micah Evans – Central Missouri
Outfield – Aaron Gerdes – Pittsburg State
Outfield – Erik Webb – Central Missouri
Includes ties in voting

Honorable Mentions
Central Missouri: Scott Wolverton – Catcher

Central Oklahoma: Brayden Nelson – Starting Pitcher, Beaux Bonvillain – Relief Pitcher, Phillip Scott – Third Base

Fort Hays State: Jacob Ensz – Relief Pitcher, Grant Schmidt – Outfield, Drake Angeron – Outfield, Jacob Bouzide – Utility

Missouri Southern: Scott Duensing – Relief Pitcher, Dexter Swims – Second Base

Newman: Tyler Push – Outfield, Hayden VanDePol – Outfield

Northeastern State: Seth Key – Starting Pitcher, John Rains – Relief Pitcher, Brayden Rodden – Catcher, Collin Klingensmith – Shortstop, Jaxon Phipps – Third Base, Blake Freeman – Outfield, Reid Fehr – Outfield

Northwest Missouri: Spencer Hanson – Starting Pitcher, Alex Slocum – Relief Pitcher, Ryan Koski – Outfield

Pittsburg State: Peyton Ingalls – Starting Pitcher, Justin Root – Relief Pitcher, Garrett McGowan – First Base, Cruz Aranda – Shortstop

Rogers State: Brett Karalius – Starting Pitcher, Jonathan Soto – Catcher, Prescott Horn – Outfield

Washburn: Zach Philbin – Relief Pitcher, Kros Bay – Catcher, Xavier DeLeon – Shortstop, Zion Bowlin – Third Base, Eric Hinostroza – Utility

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Missouri Southern heads to Edmond, OK aiming for MIAA tournament title

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern Lions are just a few days away from playing in the final four of the MIAA softball conference tournament.

The Lions are in the final four after sweeping Missouri Western in two games last weekend. They’ll face Central Missouri on Thursday in Edmond, Oklahoma.

“It feels great. It’s always a great feeling to be winning and we’re in the perfect position to win it all, so I’m just excited,” says senior Makaila Leonhart, “I feel like we go out on the field, we leave it all out there and we do our thing. I think when we do that we’re unbeatable.”

“Our theme for right now is calm and confident. When we get there you know…I don’t know the last time Southern was in this position, but we fully plan on enjoying it being confident while we’re there, and walking in like we own the place.”

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Former Joplin RB Isaiah Davis aims for national championship in freshman season at South Dakota State

JOPLIN, Mo. – Former Joplin High School running back Isaiah Davis is about to play for a national championship in his freshman season at South Dakota State.

“It’s amazing. It’s one of the best experiences of my life. It’s something you dream about as a kid,” Davis says, “My goal was to play for a national championship, and that’s how it played out.”

South Dakota State will face Sam Houston State at 1 PM on Sunday in the FCS National Championship.

It’s a big stage – but not too big for Davis, who played for a state championship at Joplin High School in his senior year in 2019.

“I feel like this year my confidence has been built up,” Davis says on the lack of nerves heading into the national championship, “Playing and making the start against SIU has helped me build that confidence. The experiences have been great. I didn’t really know what to expect…with COVID. I just had the mindset to be the best I could be this year.”

Davis hasn’t just been a passenger on the national championship ride for the Jackrabbits.

This season he has rushed for 640 yards and 7 touchdowns on 86 carries – averaging 7.8 yards-per-rush. He was named the MVFC Newcomer of the Week after rushing 22 times for a career-high 150 yards and scoring three touchdowns in South Dakota State’s 44-3 road win at Southern Illinois on March 20th.

“I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to play as a freshman,” Davis says, “To get my reps in and get something on film is a great opportunity for me.”

The former Eagle was the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior in 2019. That season, he finished with 2,283 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 220 yards and had 50 tackles on defense

“In high school, it was really just about working on us and working on our plays,” Davis says of the difference between the high school and college games, “In college, the knowledge and things you have to know are totally different.”

While he’s 500 miles away – Davis says he still feels the support of the 4-State area as he heads into the national championship – and is still in touch with his former Joplin teammates and coaches.

“I text them every weekend and they text me good luck before every game,” Davis finishes, “I see it all over Facebook, people wearing SDSU gear, buying some or getting some in the mail. It’s amazing to see the support I have back home.”