“As a whole, at this time of the season, it’s pretty obvious—when we play good baseball, that’s when we compete,” coach Chad Newhard said. “But when we give teams extra outs with walks and errors, that’s when we have a hard time competing.”
Tabor’s only win of the week came by a 6-3 margin in the second half of the set with Central Christian. Central defeated Tabor 7-6 in the first game.
William Jewell took both halves of their set with the Bluejays by a combined score of 22-3 Thursday in Hillsboro. MidAmerica beat Tabor 9-0 in a single 9-inning game March 4.
After rallying from a 2-0 deficit to tie the opener at 6-6 in the top of the sixth, the Bluejays allowed the winning run—an unearned one—to cross the plate in the bottom of the sixth.
“I’ve stressed to the guys that when we play clean baseball, and when we execute offensively in certain situations, we have success,” coach Chad Newhard said. “But when we’re walking guys and committing errors behind our pitchers, that makes for long days for us.
“It was obvious again Saturday against a team we played close. If we clean some things up, we give ourselves a chance to come out on top,” he added.
The Bluejays committed three errors in the early game, but none in the nightcap. True to form, cleaning up their act resulted in a win—but not without some extra-innings fireworks on offense.
Tabor had grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, only to have Central rally for the tie with a two-spot in the sixth and another run in the home half of the seventh.
Alfred Wilson started the game, lasting two outs into the sixth before giving way to Tyler Suderman, who allowed the tying run in the seventh.
With one out in the eighth, the Bluejays put runners on ahead of Dustin Dick, who put a charge into a two-strike pitch and struck the decisive blow.
“He put a good swing on it, and drove it past the outfielders,” Newhard said. “We were fortunate enough to have guys on base, and that put us over the top.”
Suderman slammed the door and improved his record to 2-3.
The visitors posted 10 runs in the second inning of the first game, cruising to a 13-2 win in five innings.
Tyler Suderman accounted for both of Tabor’s runs with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. Suderman’s blast was one of only three hits by the Bluejays.
“Both (William Jewell and MidAmerica Nazarene) are talented—extremely talented—teams, and we competed with them at times,” coach Chad Newhard said. “Pitching-wise in all three of those games, we were overmatched on the mound. They threw a lot of strikes and their defense made good plays behind them.”
The second contest went to William Jewell, 9-1. Tabor’s run came as leadoff batter Alfred Wilson reached base ahead of a run-scoring double by Chris Brown.
Andrew Cook kept a lid on the Jewell offense, posting three straight scoreless innings after a three-run first frame. But the visitors erupted for five runs in the fifth and tacked on another in the sixth.
It was Cook’s first loss of the season.
Jordan Lago recorded two of Tabor’s seven hits for the day. The feat was notable because of the dominant outing the Bluejays faced from MidAmerica hurler Jeff McKinley, who notched four strikeouts and allowed no walks against Tabor.
Tim Purdin had four hits and three runs scored for MANU.
Hillsboro product Aaron Stepanek pitched the ninth, striking out two and allowing no runs.
Coming—Weather permitting, Tabor (5-11) played a nine-inning contest at Kansas Wesleyan Tuesday before opening conference play with today’s twinbill at Ottawa. The first of today’s set is slated for 1 p.m., with the second to follow.
Tabor also has a conference doubleheader slated for 1 p.m. Saturday at Friends. The Bluejays face Bethany at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Lindsborg.