Missing a chance to control its destiny by dropping two games to Sterling a week and a half ago, the Tabor baseball team did its part by sweeping Bethany in four games last week.
Those wins, paired with a Sterling loss to McPherson, put the final puzzle pieces in place for Tabor to share the KCAC regular-season with Sterling at 24-4.
The Bluejays (36-12 overall) ended the regular season riding a seven-game win streak and, thanks to tiebreakers, have clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Bethany—Everything fell into place for Tabor last week in its sweep of the Swedes. The Bluejays opened Friday at Bethany with a 7-0 shutout in Game 1. Field conditions at Tabor prompted the move to Lindsborg.
Tabor started with a three-run first inning, fueled by an Art Corona double. Grant Silva singled and Kirk Rocha’s sacrifice fly scored Corona. Tyler Kozlowski singled to score Silva, and a Wes Moody single brought Kozlowski home.
Tabor added two runs in the second inning and finished with one run in the final two innings.
Rocha led the team with three RBIs on one hit. Corona went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Starter Josh Stone (8-1) was Tabor’s winning pitcher with a scoreless six innings. He gave up four hits while walking two hitters and striking out seven.
Tabor claimed a 9-1 victory in Game 2. Weather paused the game after two innings with Tabor leading 4-1. When play resumed Sunday, Tabor took command. The Bluejays faced six pitchers in the game, but were seemingly unphased.
Kevin Seeger had three RBIs on 4-for-5 hitting, while Rocha went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Corona, Keenan Chanin and Seeger each hit a double.
Relief pitcher Jacob Webb (3-2) picked up the win with four scoreless innings.
In between, Tabor secured two home victories Saturday. The Bluejays won, 6-5, in Game 1. Bethany scored first with one run in the second inning.
Tabor led 6-1 after a four-run fourth inning that saw Corona stroke a triple that scored Troy Torres and Shaun Reid, and a Silva single scored Corona. Seeger’s single brought Silva home.
The Swedes rallied with a four-run seventh inning, aided by a three-run homer. But Tabor held on for the victory.
Seeger had two hits with one RBI; Corona drove in two runs on 1-for-4 hitting. Paul Sciacca and Silva each hit a double.
Pitcher Brian Kowal (4-2) earned the win, and Alex Mann notched a save by getting the last two outs of the contest.
Tabor followed with a 6-1 win in Game 2. Bethany scored its sole run in the top of the first inning.
Torres hit a home run to open the fourth inning with a 5-1 lead, Kozlowski’s double scored Silva in the fifth inning for Tabor’s final run.
Seeger and Rocha each drove in two runs.
Matt Lambert (7-4) pitched a complete-game no-hitter. He walked one and struck out two and was named KCAC Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season.
Central Christian—The Bluejays swept the visiting Tigers Wednesday, outscoring them 21-6 in two games.
The Bluejays won, 11-1, in an errorless Game 1. Tabor struck fast, with a nine-run first inning that culminated when the Bluejays’ eighth batter, Troy Torres, hit a grand slam.
Two other Bluejays hit home runs in the game: Wes Moody and Paul Sciacca.
Central Christian managed its only run in the top of the seventh inning.
Torres went 2-for-2 at the plate with four RBIs, and Kirk Rocha and Sciacca both went 2-for-2. Rocha and Kevin Seeger each hit a double.
Alex Hill (2-2) was Tabor’s winning pitcher, giving up no hits or runs in four innings, while walking three hitters and striking out four.
Tabor followed with a 10-5 victory in Game 2. This time, it was a six-run third inning that lifted Tabor from an early 1-1 tie.
A Rocha single scored Shaun Reid and Grant Silva for the first runs of the third. Rocha later scored on a passed ball, and Keenan Chanin followed with a double.
Sciacca hit a single that scored Chanin, and Torres followed with a two-run homer.
Tyler Kozlowski hit Tabor’s second home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Rocha and Torres led with two RBIs apiece. Art Corona and Chanin each hit a double.
Relief pitcher Jon Murray (1-0) earned the win, giving up two hits and two runs (both earned) in 12⁄3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.
Coming—As the No. 1 seed, Tabor will face the winner of No. 4 Friends (12-16, 21-26) and No. 5 McPherson (12-16, 20-27) at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The winner of that game will advance to meet the winner of No. 2 Sterling (24-4, 42-12) or No. 3 Bethany (13-15, 23-27) Thursday at 3 p.m.
Games will be played at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson.