Bluejay baseball team ends season with high expectations for 2003

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
The Tabor College baseball team finished their season almost two weeks ago, and for first-year head coach John Sparks a rookie college season proved to be a learning experience.

“(The season) was exciting and frustrating all at the same time,” Sparks said. “But what I’m most proud of our team for is our attitude throughout the season.”

The Bluejays ended their regular season splitting with the KCAC conference champion Ottawa Braves.

Tabor dropped the first game 1-0, but rallied in the second game of the double header 2-1 thanks to their young talent.

Grant Brubacher’s 2-for-4 night at the plate, Casey Witt’s 2-for-2 hitting performance and Danny Douglas’s 6 1/3 innings pitching was the key ingredient in a win and a promising future for the squad next season.

“We continued to fight and we beat the conference champs,” Sparks said.

“In seven games this season, we were leading heading into the last inning. I think I told the guys that any team that is successful is usually really close to winning a lot of games-that’s exciting for us going into next year.”

The Bluejays improved on last season’s record, ending the year with a 14-29 record overall and a 9-15 record in the KCAC.

Earlier this season, the Bluejays flirted with first-place in the conference after opening with a split against Sterling College and a clean sweep of Bethany College.

But the first-place race was dashed after a losing streak midway through the season.

“We were up there battling for first for a few weeks,” Sparks said. “The biggest thing for our team to overcome is losing for the last few years. It’s really an attitude, and I think we found ways to win instead of looking for ways to lose.”

According to Sparks, recruiting for next season has already begun and continues to go well for the Bluejay coach.

“Hopefully we get some recruits in here,” Sparks said. “We still have a lot of undecided people.”

“We really need pitching,” Sparks said. “Our pitching staff was thin at the start. We’re looking all over locally, in the Oklahoma area, and we’ve got our eye on two pitchers in the Denver area.”

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