(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
"It's just another day here," FSCC head coach John Hill III joked after a 6-3 victory over the Roughriders. "It's usually 20 MPH but with the 40-MPH gusts, this is crazy.
"The rope snapped (on the flag). Nothing else was wrong."
Not much went wrong for the Greyhounds in their victory over Crowder (13-5), which avenged their only non-conference defeat at Neosho, Mo., on Feb 22. Aside from control issues from one relief pitcher, defense and pitching were the name of the day for Fort Scott (13-5).
"That's who we are this year," Hill said. "Last year, we scored 7 or 8 runs a game. This year, we returned 90 percent of our innings from last year. Our strength is going to be our pitching and then we have to play defense behind it until we figure out a way to score enough runs to win."
Jonny Dierks turned in five innings of one-hit pitching, walking no one and striking out three. Payden Kuhn pitched the sixth and seventh innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit.
Baskin Betsworth came in with one out in the top of the eighth with a runner on second after two runs had come in on Cody Althouse's double. He left Althouse stranded by getting a groundout to short and a pop up to third, then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.
"He got a lot of innings last year, especially late in the year when he got really healthy and came on strong for us," Hill said. "He's four for four right now in saves. The only run he's allowed was against these guys. (Crowder)'s as good as of a team as you're going to find right now."
The 'Hounds scored their first run in the second inning. Cody Ball singled to lead off the frame, moved to second in a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball. Ryan Leonardo's line drive glanced off the third-baseman's leg, allowing Ball to score.
Four Greyhound runs went up in the fifth. Cole Fergus led off and reached on an error. Alex Drew walked. Zack Steadman bunted the runners over. Reyn Sugai's two-out single brought in Fergus. Corey Stringer brought in Drew with another single. Ball got a hit to right field, which allowed Sugai to score as the catcher couldn't handle the throw from the outfield. Then Stringer came home on a single by pinch-hitter John Morey.
The last Greyhound run scored in the bottom of the eighth. Leonardo was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Fergus moved him over with a bunt. Cody Parks' grounder to second allowed Leonardo to get to third from where he scored on Steadman's triple.
Sugai and Ball each had two of Fort Scott's 9 hits.
The Greyhounds will host Neosho County in Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division play this weekend, looking to climb out of an 0-4 hole they find themselves in after dropping both doubleheaders in last weekend's conference-opening series at Allen. The Panthers are ranked No. 4 in NJCAA Division I but dropped three of four games in its series against Coffeyville last weekend.
The first game of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday begin at 1 p.m. each day, provided that the rain showers predicted in the weather forecast stay away. There is a 60-percent chance of rain Saturday and a 70-percent chance Sunday.
Crowder.... 000 000 120 -- 3 3 3
Fort Scott.. 010 040 01x -- 6 9 1
WP -- Dierks. LP -- Schaab. Sv. -- Betsworth.
HR -- none.