For the second time in three days, the Tabor College baseball team defeated Mayville State by an eight-run margin. After kicking off their NAIA Opening Round tournament appearance with an 8-0 shutout Tuesday, the Bluejays earned a 12-4 victory Thursday to end the Comets? tournament run.
Tabor got five shutout innings from starter Gregory Turner (5-2) who picked up the win, scattering three hits and one walk with no strikeouts during his time on the mound. Turner set the tone with a 1-2-3 inning to start the game, then the Bluejay offense went to work, scoring its first run off two hits and an error in the bottom half of the inning.
Tabor took command in the bottom of the second inning. Armando Castillo led off with a double, then Jean Acevedo reached base on an error. Colton Flax and Brent McClure hit back-to-back RBI singles off starter Matthew Tomblin, ending his outing after just 28 pitches. In one inning, Tomblin gave up five hits and five runs (three earned), while walking no one and striking out one batter. He took the pitching loss.
Michael Baca hit a sacrifice bunt, then Gadiel Baez coaxed a walk off reliever Josh Janzen to load the bases with one out. Alex Couch drew a bases-loaded walk, then Matthew Molbury drove in a pair of runs with a single. By the time Manny DeLeon hit an RBI single and Castillo walked, the bases were loaded a second time, prompting another Comet pitching change. Acevedo drew a bases-loaded walk before reliever Eric Benson finally ended the inning with Tabor holding an 8-0 lead.
Tabor added a ninth run in the third thanks to Baca?s leadoff double and Couch?s sacrifice fly, and the Bluejays scored again in the fourth when Flax drove in a run with a single. That gave Tabor a 10-0 lead, a score which held through six innings.
Mayville State got on the board in the seventh when Darin Stanislawski launched a one-out, three-run home run off reliever Dylan Algra.
The Bluejays used three hits to score twice more in the eighth before Mayville State made one final attempt at a rally. The Comets hit three consecutive singles off closer Thomas Longworth in the top of the ninth inning to load the bases with no outs. A Bluejay error allowed one run to score before Longworth escaped the jam.
Flax was 3-for-5 at-bat and had three RBIs. Baca, Couch and Castillo were each 2-for-3. Couch also had three RBIs.
Coming?With the win, Tabor advances to face Bellevue tonight in the teams? second meeting. First pitch was scheduled for 8:40 p.m. With a Tabor win tonight, the two teams would face off again tomorrow in a 1 p.m. second championship game. A Bellevue win tonight would give the Bruins the championship.
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