ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor baseball team tried to catch up over the weekend on games Mother Nature washed away earlier in the week.
Friends-On Friday, the Bluejays traveled to Wichita to battle the Falcons and came home with a split. The Bluejays lost the opener, 9-5, but bounced back to win the second game, 3-0.
In Game 1, starting pitcher Danny Douglass allowed nine hits and six runs, four earned, while striking out five in 42/3 innings.
Sean Bechtold pitched the final 11/3 innings, allowing an additional three runs, two of which were earned.
“They threw their No. 1 guy and we didn’t respond,” assistant coach Brady Marsh said. “We gave away a couple runs and that didn’t help.”
Tabor led 1-0 after the first half inning, but that was its only lead of the game.
Offensively, Tyler Marsh (.489) continued his season-long hot streak, going 3-for-4, including two doubles, while scoring a run and driving in another.
Tim Hein also contributed two base hits and drove in a run.
Friends managed 11 hits in all.
In Game 2, Zavien Rivers came through with another exceptional outing, throwing six innings of two-hit ball, striking out two and walking two.
“Zavien Rivers is 5-1 right now,” Marsh said. “He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he has about four pitches and he uses them all.
“He locates the ball well, and he just keeps hitters off balance, spotting the ball.”
Bechtold pitched a final inning of no-hit ball to earn the save.
Tabor had five base hits, with Chance Miles and Nathan Fish driving in one run each.
Sterling-On Saturday, the Bluejays headed to Sterling for their regularly scheduled twinbill with the Warriors.
Four games in two days proved too much for the weary Bluejays, as they dropped both games, 10-0 and 12-0.
“Things didn’t go like we wanted them to,” Marsh said. “We tried to save some people, and just get it over as soon as possible.
“They just shut us down,” he added. “That’s all I can say. They got everything to go their way.”
Douglass started in the opener, but lasted just 21/3 innings, allowing eight hits and nine earned runs.
Gerald Goodale and Layne Frick provided mop-up duty for Tabor.
The Bluejays managed just three hits, one each by Marsh, Miles and Johnson.
The second game proved to be the same old song.
Bechtold was the starter and loser, lasting just 32/3 innings. He allow 14 hits and 12 earned runs.
Fish managed Tabor’s only hit in the contest.
Kansas Wesleyan-The Bluejays played host to the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes Monday, April 21, in a doubleheader postponed by rain April 19 in Salina.
The wait was well worth it.
Tabor swept the Coyotes, 14-3 in Game 1 and 11-7 in a come-from-behind victory in the night cap.
In the opener, Tabor pounded Coyote pitching for 12 hits en route to its 14 runs.
Jared Johnson drove in three runs on three hits. Grant Brubacher, Keenan Morris and Mark George each drove in two runs. Brubacher also collected three hits.
“They swung the bat pretty well,” Marsh said of the Bluejays. “Everyone hit the ball really well, though.”
The Bluejays led 4-1 after three innings and 7-1 after four innings, before finishing off the Coyotes with seven runs in the fifth inning to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Meanwhile, Rivers was superb on the mound again, handcuffing the Coyotes on only five hits in five innings. He allowed only two earned runs.
“Zavien pitched a complete game,” Marsh said. “He had only given up three hits heading into the fifth inning. He dominated that game.”
Game 2 saw Kansas Wesleyan jump to a 3-0 lead during the first half inning, then increase that lead to 7-1 after 41/2 innings.
But the Tabor bats came to life and the Bluejays scored one run in the fifth inning, four in the sixth, and completed the comeback with five in the seventh.
Casey Witt and Hein led the attack with three hits apiece, while Brubacher, Witt and Johnson each drove in two runs.
For the day, Tabor shelled Coyote pitching for 25 runs on 27 hits.
“We’re playing the best offensively that we have all season,” Marsh said. “Hopefully, we’ll keep that up here in the games at the end of the season.”
Douglass started in the mound for Tabor and lasted five innings. He allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs.
“Danny has had some bad luck,” Marsh said. “He’s not pitching that poorly, but we just didn’t score any runs for him.
“We finally got some runs and took the lead,” Marsh added. “It was just a matter of time. We were hitting the ball hard early in the game, but right at them.”
Bechtold closed out the game with two innings of hitless ball. He struck out three on his way to the victory.
The Bluejays committed only two errors on the day.
“We played pretty solid,” Marsh said. “We played good defense and that was good to see.
“Hopefully, this will be a big momentum booster for us.”
Coming-The KCAC tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, weather permitting. Tabor’s record stands at 13-29 going in.
“Sterling will probably be the best team in the tournament,” Marsh said. “It looks like Ottawa has the conference championship wrapped up.”
Marsh said it looks quite possible the Bluejays will face this same Sterling team in the conference tournament.
“Zavien will throw for us, and he’s been hot,” Marsh said. “We threw him against Point Loma and he did well.
“Maybe we can scratch up a few runs, and sneak up on them,” he added. “I don’t feel too bad. We’ll see what happens.
“If we hit the ball well, you never know,” Marsh said. “But we need to make outs. If we can’t get them out, it won’t be good.”