The Roadrunners preserved a slim lead acquired in a 3-run second inning on Sunday against Metropolitan Community College – Longview at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Josiah Imhoff earned the win with a 6-frame outing, while Kevin Diaz and Alex Dyer secured a 3-2 victory with three scoreless innings in relief.
Unloading a flurry of sinking, tailing fastballs against the Laker lineup, the freshman from Jefferson City allowed a run in the second and fourth inning on five hits. He walked a pair and struck out five.
Derek Miller started the winning Roadrunner rally with a leadoff single in the third. Tyler Crane advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Miller scored on two passed balls. Singles from Derek Shikles and Zack Ehlen put State Fair ahead, 3-1.
The offensive approached waned through six scoreless frames, said SFCC first-base coach, C.J. Webster. He identified those lapses as natural for a young, developing program.
“Today wasn’t about complacency, it was just that we weren’t learning from our mistakes from previous innings,” Webster said. “The other team was having very quick innings as well … Moving forward, we want younger players like this, to start playing the game in a manner to where they’re finding pitches they can actually drive, and not swinging just to make contact.
“That’s part of being young, too. We have 45 players — 42 of them are freshmen. It’s not knocking younger players, but, they’re going to learn. It’s just the learning curve … Guys are going to start learning from other players’ at-bats.”
State Fair (9-8) finished an 8-game week that began with a home victory over Kansas City Kansas Community College, 6-2. Crowder College beat the Roadrunners four times preceding doubleheader splits with MCC-Maple Woods and a sweep of Central Methodist’s reserves.
Imhoff said that after seeing what Region 16 and the rest of the junior college landscape has to offer through 17 games, he expects to win.
“So far I think we’ve done a pretty good job surprising people, really,” Imhoff said. “Community colleges around here are pretty good, but I think we’ve done a good job of against them … I think what we need to keep in mind is that we can compete with anybody here, and we need to continue to do that through the season.”
The Roadrunners are scheduled to host Southeastern Community College 4 p.m. Wednesday at Liberty Park in Sedalia.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2