ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College baseball team concluded a busy week by splitting a doubleheader in Wichita with Friends on Saturday, winning the opener, 9-3, but losing the second game, 3-2.
In the opener, Tabor, fueled by five consecutive singles from Nick Green, Grant Brubacher, Kevin Peterson, Casey Hillman and Chance Miles, jumped to a 5-0 lead.
Tabor made it 7-0 in the second inning as Green homered and Brubacher singled and scored on a single by Miles.
After Friends scored twice in the third inning off winning pitcher Andy Womack, the Bluejays got a single run in the fourth when Peterson reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Hillman’s single.
Leading 8-3, Tabor finished the scoring in the fifth inning when Tyson Bauerle was hit by a pitch and then scored on a double by Tanner Monhollon.
Tabor banged out 13 hits, led by a 3-for-4 performance by Brubacher and three runs batted in by Miles.
“We obviously hit the ball well in the opener,” coach John Sparks said.
In the second game, Tyler McKim pitched well enough to win, allowing just two hits and three walks in five innings.
The Falcons took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when McKim allowed two hits and two walks.
Friends stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third as a lead-off hit batter came around to score without the aid of a base hit.
Tabor scored in the fourth when Peterson singled with one out, Hillman singled and Miles sacrificed to cut the lead to 3-1.
Tabor added another run in the sixth inning when Peterson homered to lead off the inning, but that’s all the offense Tabor managed to generate.
“We played two good games, especially defensively,” Sparks said. “Qualls pitched for Friends and now sits at 10-0, but McKim pitched well.
“We just couldn’t get that big two-out hit to get any more runs,” he added. “We went 3-3 this week although our goal was to go 4-2. We fell short, but we did what we needed to do.”
With the split, Tabor’s record stands at 19-23 overall and 7-11 in KCAC play.
Bethany-Fresh off a double-header sweep of Sterling the previous day, Tabor dropped a pair of games at home to Bethany, 13-5 and 11-4.
Tristan Simmons absorbed the loss in the opener, allowing nine hits and nine earned runs in only two innings of work.
Tabor’s attack was led by Kevin Peterson and Jeremy Ball, who both recorded two of Tabor’s seven hits.
In the second game, Bethany scored four first-inning runs off starter Peterson, who allowed eight hits and eight earned runs in 31/3 innings.
Tabor managed six hits. Hillman had two with a run batted in.
“I have to give Bethany credit, they pummeled the ball,” coach John Sparks said. “In the first game, we kicked it around a little bit but their offensive attack was pretty impressive.”
Sterling-Tabor got two big wins over Sterling in dramatic fashion last week, 8-7 and 7-4.
In the opener, Tabor pitcher Casey Hillman got rocked in the first two innings, allowing five first-inning runs on five hits and an additional run in the second as Tabor fell behind 6-0.
But the Bluejays began a comeback in the third inning when Grant Brubacher homered to right field and also drove home Nick Green, who had singled.
Kevin Peterson then doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Tyson Bauerle and the score stood at 6-3.
Hillman, meanwhile, settled down and kept Sterling off the scoreboard.
Tabor added three more runs to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, all coming with two outs.
Brubacher singled, Peterson reached on an error and Mile singled to whittle the lead to 6-4. Peterson and Miles both scored on a Hillman double and the game was tied at 6.
Hillman did well to allow just one run in the seventh as Sterling registered three hits in addition to a Bluejay error. But the Warriors led 7-6 as the Bluejays came up for their final at-bat.
With one out, Josh Craig doubled and then scored on a Tanner Monhollon single. After Brubacher singled, Peterson singled to left field to score Monhollon with the game-ending run.
“This was a big win for us, especially since we’ve lost five conference games by one run,” coach John Sparks said. “It was nice to come back and win one of these. Hopefully, it’ll give us a shot of confidence down the stretch.”
Hillman picked up the win, allowing 11 hits and seven earned runs.
Brubacher led the 13-hit Bluejay attack with four hits and three runs batted in.
In the second game, Sterling scored a first-inning run off starter Scott Wolf, but Tabor countered with three runs in the first on two base hits.
After Sterling tied the game at 3 in the third, Tabor regained the lead with a run in the fourth when Brian Kimsey doubled Hillman home.
Tabor added two more runs in the fifth when Peterson homered following a Brubacher single to put Tabor on top 6-3.
Sterling added a run in the sixth but Tabor countered with a run when Hillman led off the inning with a solo home run as Tabor won, 7-4.
Wolf picked up the win, throwing four inning while allowing six hits and three earned runs. Layne Frick picked up the save.
Peterson led the seven-hit offense with two hits and three runs batted in.
Coming-Tabor battled Ottawa on Tuesday and hosts Rogers State in non-conference action on Saturday.