The Tabor College baseball team is one win away from a KCAC tournament championship title after defeating Kansas Wesleyan, 7-2, Friday in the semifinals.
Dustin Hurlbutt went the distance on the mound, scattering six hits and two runs (both earned) over nine innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out 12.
The Bluejays scored early and often, building a 7-0 lead through four innings.
Tabor scored a pair of runs off three hits and an error in the first inning. Michael Baca got the bats going by leading off with a triple. Gadiel Baez was hit by a pitch, then Jerrik Sigg hit a sacrifice fly to score Tabor?s first run. Alex Couch and Matthew Molbury hit back-to-back singles, and Tabor scored its second run on an error.
After a scoreless second inning, Tabor added two more runs in the top of the third, again off three hits and an error. This time, Baez led off with a double and later scored on a ground out. Molbury singled and pinch runner Ryan Neufeld scored on Manny DeLeon?s RBI single.
The icing on the cake was a three-run fourth inning that concluded Tabor?s scoring for the day. Jean Acevedo and Baca each reached base with a single and Baez cleared the bases with a three-run blast off Coyote starter Nathan Hancock.
That was more than enough run support for Hurlbutt, who pitched eight shutout innings, including four 1-2-3 innings. Hurlbutt escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and gave up just two runs in the bottom of the seventh off a hit, an error and a pair of walks.
Baca was 3-for-5 at-bat. Molbury was 2-for-3. Baez was 2-for-4 and had three RBIs.
Coming?Tabor will play in the championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bluejays will face either Kansas Wesleyan, Sterling or Bethany.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13