Once again, Russell Longworth came through for the Tabor College baseball team in a do-or-die situation.
Facing elimination in their second game of the NAIA World Series Saturday, the Bluejays entrusted the ball to Longworth, who pitched a complete-game shutout to give Tabor a 2-0 victory over No. 7 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
As he had in Tabor?s opening round championship victory over Bellevue and a prior complete-game shutout over Mayville State, the senior left-hander commanded the game, needing just 90 pitches to get the job done. He threw three 1-2-3 innings, scattering just five hits and walking no one. Longworth secured the last out of the game by strikeout?his fourth on the day.
Having struggled offensively the day before in a 9-1 loss to Embry-Riddle?Tabor batted a collective .094 and did not get a base hit until the sixth inning?the Bluejay bats heated up from the start against Lindsey Wilson as Michael Baca led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and later scored to give Tabor a 1-0 lead.
Matthew Molbury keyed a one-run sixth inning by launching an RBI double off Blue Raider starter Scott Sebald to score Alex Couch from second, who had led off the inning with a single.
That was all the run support Longworth needed, although Tabor left a few scoring opportunities on the field. The Bluejays stranded a total of six base runners, including leaving Manny DeLeon at third after he hit a second inning leadoff double. Baca was thrown out attempting to score on a single off the bat of Couch in the third inning, and Tabor left runners on the corners in a hit-less fifth inning. The Bluejays also left a base runner in both the sixth and eighth innings.
Couch led the team on 3-for-4 hitting for the day. Baca and Molbury were both 2-for-4, with Molbury picking up the Bluejays? only RBI.
Coming?With the win, Tabor stayed alive to fight another day and will await the loser of No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist and No. 8 Concordia. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT Monday.
For scores and updates from the NAIA World Series, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13