Truman grad Josh Patrick's record season helps Crowder to Junior College World Series
Josh Patrick’s best day in the Junior College World Series helped keep the season going for Crowder College.
The Truman High School graduate drove in three runs to help the Roughriders beat Walters State (Tenn.) 14-6 in an elimination game Monday in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Patrick’s first hit drove in two runs during a five-run second inning that broke a 1-1 tie and then in the sixth inning he hit his school-record 18th home run.
It was one of five home runs in the win for Crowder, which entered as the No. 1 seed in the tournament but lost its opener, 10-3 to Indian Hills.
It was Patrick’s best day in the three games that Crowder had played. He had a hit in the opening-game loss. While being held hitless in a 9-8 win against Florence-Darlington, Patrick drew two walks.
Crowder (54-7) will play its third straight elimination game on Tuesday.
To help Crowder reach Grand Junction, it was Patrick – a former all-state player for the Patriots – who delivered the big blow.
Facing Eastern Oklahoma Junior College in the South Central Regional finals on May 22, the Mountaineers tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth.
The lead was short-lived thanks to Patrick, the starting third baseman for Crowder. He took the second pitch he saw the next inning from David Sandlin out of the park. That was one of two home runs for Patrick, who drove in three runs in the 9-4 victory. .
“I didn’t try to hit a home run, it was just part of the approach,” Patrick said. “It was a pretty exciting moment. It is probably my biggest hit (in college) so far, but I don’t look at it that way. It's just another home run – nothing special.”
His two home runs that game, though, were special for the program. It tied a school record for home runs in a season, one which has stood since 2008. Patrick shared the top spot – until his trip to Colorado – with former Blue Springs standout and Houston Astros draft pick Bubby Williams.
“He hit a 415-foot bomb to right field and got the lead right back,” Crowder coach Travis Lallemand said. “I won’t say we could relax, but we could breathe easier again. He is swinging the bat well.”
Patrick was coming off last summer in which he earned a spot on the All-Ban Johnson team, and he continued to hit this spring. Lallemand noted that Patrick has taken to the shift to third base well and has a chance to play there at a four-year school.
While the COVID-freshman – the term used for college athletes who used the extra year of eligibility after losing it to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 – has been well known for his bat, his defense is coming around after moving across the diamond from first base.
“He has always been able to hit and always had power but he has developed less swing-and-miss at the plate,” Lallemand said. “But the biggest thing is his infield play. When we got him, everybody said he was a first baseman and that is where he had been, but he has done a really nice job at third base for us.”
After Monday’s game, Patrick has a .316 average with 40 extra base hits: 18 doubles, four triples and 18 home runs. He has driven in 58 runs – an average of a little more than one per game.
Division I colleges have had a chance to see what Patrick can do through recruiting some of his teammates like Logan Chambers (Tennessee) and Landrey Wilkerson (Arkansas) who are headed to four-year schools. Last week, Patrick picked up a Division I offer from University of Alabama-Birmingham.