Rogers State deals Chaps' ace second consecutive loss

SAN ANGELO — Griffin Keller went 4 for 4 with three runs batted in and Rogers State beat Lubbock Christian University 9-5 Thursday night in the first round of the Division II NCAA South Central Regional 2 baseball tournament.

The Hillcats (35-16) raked Heartland Conference pitcher of the year Ryan Johnson (13-2) for eight runs on nine hits, dealing the LCU lefthander his second consecutive loss after he posted a school-record 13 straight wins during the regular season.

No. 3 seed LCU (35-16) will play No. 2 seed and site host Angelo State (42-9) at 3:30 p.m. Friday, having to win to keep its season alive. 

Heartland player of the year Hill Alexander hit a run-scoring single and a home run for the Chaparrals. Keaton Greenwalt supplied a double and a run-scoring triple, and Braden Hayward and Andrew Pratt each had RBI singles.

Rogers State erased a 3-1 deficit with a five-run third inning fueled by RBI singles from Grant Farris and Brendan Griffith and a run-scoring double by Keller.

Alexander's home run to left-center cut the gap to 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth, but the Hillcats opened it back up with a three-run seventh. Nick Follett drew a bases-loaded walk and Keller singled through the right side, bringing home two.

Rogers State lefty starter Jackson Simonsgaard allowed four runs on eight hits and five walks. Sean Robinson (3-2) got the win, allowing a run in 2 2/3 innings of middle relief, and Brock Knoten notched his 14th save.

LCU stranded 13.

Hayward, Alexander, Greenwalt and Will Clark finished with two hits apiece for the Chaps.


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Simonsgaard, Robinson (5), Lucas (8), Knoten (8) and Ford; R. Johnson, C. Johnson (7), McCrummen (7) and Pratt. W—Robinson (3-2). L—R. Johnson (13-2). Sv—Knoten (14). 2B—Rogers State, Merriwether (8), Keller (9); LCU, Whetsel (16), Hayward (16), Greenwalt (13). 3B—LCU, Greenwalt (4). HR—Rogers State, Follett (6); LCU, Alexander (14). Records: Rogers State 35-16, LCU 35-16.



Seeds, records in parentheses

All Times CDT

at Foster Field, San Angelo

Thursday's First-Round Game

Game 1: Rogers State 9, Lubbock Christian University 5

Friday's Games

Game 2: Angelo State (2) (42-9) vs. LCU (3) (35-16), 3:30 p.m.

Game 3: Angelo State (2) (42-9) vs. Rogers State (6) (35-16), 7 p.m.

Note: If Angelo State wins Game 2, then Game 3 will become the first of a best-of-three series between Angelo State and Rogers State.



at Grand Junction, Colorado

Thursday's First-Round Game

Game 1: Colorado School of Mines 5, West Texas A&M 4

Friday's Games

Game 2: Colorado Mesa (1) (45-9) vs. West Texas A&M (5) (41-11), 1 p.m.

Game 3: Colorado Mesa (1) (45-9) vs. Colorado School of Mines (4) (40-13), 5 p.m.

Note: If Colorado Mesa wins Game 2, then Game 3 will become the first of a best-of-three series between Colorado Mesa and Colorado Mines.