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.

ROGERS STATE 9, LCU 5

Rogers State;015;000;300;—;9;12;0

LCU;210;010;010;—;5;12;1

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.

NCAA SOUTH CENTRAL

REGIONAL 2

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.

NCAA SOUTH CENTRAL

REGIONAL 1

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.