The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 9, 2012

Juco playoffs open tonight in Joplin

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Travis Northern has been given the pitching assignment tonight for Crowder College in its NJCAA Division I Region XVI opener against St. Charles.

The Crowder-St. Charles game caps a four-game session at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

Second-seeded Crowder has gone 1-3 against No. 1 seed Jefferson this season. Crowder is 4-0 against St. Charles.

Northern, a sophomore right-hander from Cassville who’s signed with NCAA Division II Delta State of Cleveland, Miss., is 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 65 innings.

“Travis has command of four pitches,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said on Tuesday. “He throws a lot of strikes. He’s a competitor. He attacks hitters. He can throw the fastball in the upper 80s.”

The first four batters in Lallemand’s probable batting order consists of first baseman Cody Althouse, shortstop Justin Treece, center fielder Logan Pearson and third baseman Tony Sandifer.

Completing the order are right fielder Kyle Dickens, second baseman Drew Crain, left fielder Sam May, catcher Laszlo Horvath and designated hitter Spenser Witt.

Althouse, Sandifer, Treece and Pearson head the Crowder offense among the regulars.

Althouse is averaging .365 (74-203) with 57 runs scored, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and 55 RBI. Sandifer is averaging .362 with 17 extra-base hits and 56 RBI. Treece is at .340 with 48 runs scored, 38 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Pearson is at .333 with 19 doubles among 24 extra-base hits and 42 RBI.

Dickens and Witt prepped at Neosho and Monett, respectively. Dickens has contributed 23 extra-base hits and 40 RBI. Witt is averaging .314 with 30 runs scored.

The winners’ bracket semifinals will be held at 4 p.m. and 7 on Thursday.

Jefferson is defending champion and reached the NJCAA World Series last season at Grand Junction, Colo. The Vikings were 2-2 at the series. Crowder bagged Missouri honors in 2010 and also advanced to the series to finish 1-2.

The tournament host is Crowder in cooperation with the Joplin Sports Authority.

Results will be posted after each game at and on the Joplin Sports Authority Facebook page.