Crowder overcomes Asher, 12-9

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Asher's Dayton Fowler follows through on his base-hit swing against Crowder Monday.
Asher pitcher Tahlan Hamilton (12) fires the baseball to first base for the out after fielding a grounder against Crowder Monday.

ASHER – In a tune-up game for regionals, the Class B fourth-ranked Asher Indians were outhit by a 13-7 margin in dropping a 12-9 decision to the Class A 13th-ranked Crowder Demons Monday at Murl Bowen Park.

Crowder, 20-5, was also helped out by two errors during a four-run third inning and one error in the midst of a five-run fourth as the Demons overcame a 4-0 deficit in taking control.

“We're giving up too many bases on defense,” said Asher head coach Scott Hamilton. “Crowder is a really good Class A team and they've got five good pitchers. That's why we play a game like this to put pressure on us in preparing for regionals.”

Asher, 19-8, received two-hit efforts from Garrett Leba and Devon Lamb. Leba went 2-for-5 with a two-run single to right field in the second inning and a run-scoring single down the left field line in the seventh. Lamb led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo-blast to left-center and had a single up the middle in the seventh in which he ultimately scored.

Carrying the big stick for Crowder was the No. 2 hole hitter Jayden Meaux, who finished 4-for-4 with a two-run double in the fourth and an RBI single in the seventh to cap off the Demon scoring. Meaux was also hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance.

James Long, batting in the eighth spot for Crowder, was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scored once.

Asher starter Tahlan Hamilton was tagged with the loss after getting relief help from Trent Smith and Lamb.

The Indians scored four runs in the second via Demon error, wild pitch and Leba's two-run single to right.

However, Crowder immediately responded with four scores of its own. An error, wild pitch, passed ball and RBI groundout by Collin Cosper led to the 4-all deadlock.

The Demons then took control of the contest in the fourth with five runs off four hits with the help of an Asher miscue.

Meaux's two-run double down the left field line made it 6-4. Grady Kitchens later delivered a one-out, two-run single to right and Cosper had a run-scoring single in the frame to make it 9-4.

Asher scratched for a score in the bottom of the fourth when Dayton Fowler drew a walk and ultimately scored when Mike McDonald picked up the RBI when he was hit by a bases-loaded pitch to make it 9-5.

Lamb's leadoff homer in the fifth pulled Asher within 9-6.

Meaux scored off a wild pitch in the sixth to stretch the Crowder advantage to 10-6 and the Demons plated two more scores in the seventh off a Royce Florenzano RBI groundout and Meaux RBI single to make it 12-6.

The Indians made it a little interesting in the bottom of the seventh when Tahlan Hamilton drew a leadoff walk, moved up to second on Lamb's single up the middle and Ryan Reeser walked to load the bases.

That set the stage for Cameron Grissom's two-run single to shallow right-center and Leba later delivered a two-out, RBI single down the left field line to pull Asher with 12-9.

The Indians will host a Class B four-team regional on Thursday. Asher will face Leedey at 11 a.m. Maysville and Drummond will then do battle at 1:30 p.m. The Asher-Leedey winner will take on the Maysville-Drummond winner will square off at 4 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., the two losers of the first two games will meet.