Tabor baseball struggles through miserable week

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College baseball team saw its KCAC title hopes take a serious blow last week when the Bluejays suffered through an 0-6 week in conference play.

“It was not a good week,” coach John Sparks said, shaking his head. “It was one of our worst weeks ever.”

On Saturday, Tabor traveled to Lindsborg to face the Swedes just two days after being swept by Bethany in Hillsboro. Tabor lost the opener 7-5 before succumbing in the second match 12-7.

In the opener, Tyler McKim got the start and lasted three innings. He allowed five hits, five earned runs and walked four.

Josh Letourneau gave up only one hit and one earned run in relief.

After Tabor took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Bethany wrapped single runs in the first and third innings around a four-run second to lead 6-1.

The Bluejays crept closer with a single run in the fifth and three in the seventh, but the game ended with the tying run on second as the final out was recorded.

Tabor had 10 hits in the game. Kevin Peterson had three of them, including a home run, and J.D. Poplin and Tyson Bauerle each added two.

In Game 2, Tabor again scored a run in the first inning, but Bethany crossed home plate twice in the first inning, three times in the second and four times in the third to jump to a 9-1 lead off starter Jeremy Sneed.

Sneed lasted five innings, allowing 10 hits, five earned runs and three walks.

The Bluejays battled to the end, though, with two runs in the fifth and four in the seventh before running out of opportunities. Tabor had six hits but committed six errors.

“We’re still giving up way too many errors in the field,” Sparks said. “We need to be more consistent at the plate, too.

“We have stretches where we look good at the plate and we have other stretches where we just kind of go into a hole.”

Bethany-The Bluejays hosted Bethany College in games originally scheduled for March 21, but the results were hardly worth waiting for. Tabor dropped both games, 8-3 and 21-3.

Tabor starter Casey Hillman threw four innings in the opener, allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out seven.

Bethany led off with a run but Tabor answered with a pair of scores in the bottom of the inning on a two-run home run by Kevin Peterson.

Bethany added three runs in the third inning, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh, racking up 12 base hits for the game.

Tabor added a run in the fifth when Josh Craig homered over the centerfield wall, but the Bluejays had only six hits in the game while committing three errors.

Game 2 was memorable for Tabor, but for all the wrong reasons. The Swedes piled up 17 base hits, aided by four Bluejay errors. The game was over early as the Swedes scored three runs in the first inning and eight more in the second.

Cooper Garbe lasted only 11/3 innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs and six walks.

Tabor scored one run in the first inning and two in the third as Chance Miles doubled twice to drive in two runs and Casey Cooper had two hits and the other run batted in.

Saint Mary-Tabor started the week against front running Saint Mary on Tuesday, dropping both games, 6-3 and 14-1.

In the opener, starter Tyler McKim took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits while walking three.

Saint Mary scored a pair of runs in both the second and third innings before the Bluejays fought back with three runs in the bottom half of the third.

Casey Hillman, Chance Miles and Casey Cooper all drove in a run, but Saint Mary answered with two more runs in the fifth.

Tabor managed six hits and committed one error.

Mike Menges pitched the final two innings for Tabor, allowing no runs and no hits. The Spires managed six hits in the game.

Game 2 was all Saint Mary as the Spires rocked Tabor pitching for 16 hits.

Jeremy Sneed, the Bluejay starter, lasted five innings and allowed nine hits and six runs, including three earned runs.

Tyson Bauerle threw one inning while Josh Letourneau hurled the final inning, allowing six hits and eight runs, only two of them earned.

Tabor managed only one hit, a Hillman single.

“Obviously, no more runs than we scored, we had trouble hitting the ball,” Sparks said.

Coming-With the 0-6 week, Tabor stands at 14-20 for the season and 4-10 in KCAC play.

Tabor takes a breather this week, with its only action hosting Ottawa on Wednesday. The doubleheader begins at 4 p.m.

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