William Jewell sweeps TC in opener

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
The Tabor College baseball team opened its 2002 season with two losses to William Jewell College of Liberty, Mo., Saturday afternoon in Hillsboro.

The Jays fell 7-2 in the first game and 16-7 in the second game of the doubleheader.

First-year coach John Sparks looked at the two losses optimistically.

“It was a little bit of first-game jitters,” Sparks said. “We really didn’t play too badly, other than the fact that we didn’t hit the ball extremely well. We had some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on. And they hit the ball pretty well and found the holes.”

Tabor committed two errors in the first game, including an error by pitcher Shawn Bechtold attempting to pick off a William Jewell runner at first base. The throw soared over the glove of the first baseman.

Sparks said the error was critical for William Jewell’s momentum.

“It definitely got them off to a good start, and I guess we just have to be a little more smart about things like that,” Sparks said. “We’ve been working a lot with pitchers on keeping guys close because that’s been a problem. It’s one of those things where one got away from him.”

The Bluejays got seven hits in the first game.

Tabor lost the second game despite getting 13 hits and establishing an early lead.

“The second game was kind of disappointing because we got off to a 7-0 lead, and we couldn’t hold on to it,” Sparks said. “One thing this team has to learn is how to finish and how to win. That will probably be one of the biggest struggles because we come in the basement of the conference for the past couple of years.”

The Bluejays finished with three errors in the second game.

Coming-Tabor travels to Moore, Okla., Friday to take on Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College at 1 p.m. They will play host to Oklahoma Wesleyan at 1 p.m. Saturday and Northwestern Oklahoma State University at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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