The Tabor College baseball team’s season came to a close Wednesday with a 9-6 loss to Missouri Baptist in the championship game of the NAIA Opening Round Hutchinson bracket.
The Spartans were the only team to beat Tabor in the tournament, having secured a 10-5 victory over the Bluejays Monday.
In between its two losses, Tabor defeated Jamestown, 9-5; Concordia, 12-11; and Clarke, 8-7; to work its way through the loser’s bracket to the championship.
Facing Missouri Baptist a second time, Tabor fell behind early as the Spartans scored seven of their nine runs in the first two innings. The Bluejays’ biggest inning was a four-hit, three-run bottom of the second inning in which Kyle James hit a two-run double and the Spartans made one error.
Jake Jones hit a solo home run in the third inning, bringing Tabor within 7-4.
Missouri Baptist scored one run in the fourth inning, then Tabor plated two runs in the sixth off Brent McClure’s two-RBI double to make it 8-6. Those were Tabor’s final runs, however, and Missouri Baptist added a final run in the top of the ninth.
Jones was 3-for-5 at-bat and had one RBI. McClure and James each drove in a pair of runs.
Jordan Harris absorbed the pitching loss. In 3-2/3 innings, he gave up nine hits and eight runs (seven earned). He walked two batters and struck out no one.
Clarke—To get to the championship, Tabor defeated the top-seeded Crusaders Wednesday, 8-7.
The Bluejays scored all eight of their runs in the sixth inning after Clarke had built a 3-0 lead through five innings.
Tabor recorded eight hits in the half-inning, including a two-run single by Colton Flax, an RBI double by Kyle James and a two-run double by AJ Shaw.
Clarke scored four runs off three hits in the top of the eighth inning before the Bluejays ended the threat.
Haydon Mahe-Liessmann was 3-for-4 at-bat and had one RBI. Shaw was 3-for-5 and had two RBIs.
Nathan Arruda earned the pitching win. In 7-1/3 innings, he gave up six hits and five runs (all earned). He walked three batters and struck out five.
Jordan Harris was credited with the save.
Tabor ends the season with an overall record of 44-17.