Tabor baseball suffers 9-1 loss to open NAIA World Series

The Tabor College baseball team suffered a 9-1 loss to Embry-Riddle in its first game of the 2015 Avista-NAIA World Series Friday.

Eagle starter Stetson Nelson (10-4) threw a lockdown effort, pitching five no-hit innings before surrendering a single to Alex Couch in the bottom of the sixth. Nelson earned the win, scattering three hits and one earned run over 7-1/3 innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out four.

The Eagles plated more than enough run support for Nelson. After a lightning delay paused the game for an hour and a half after the first inning, Enderson Velasquez led off the second inning with a double?the first of six doubles for the Eagles?and Embry-Riddle scored its first two runs on Hunter Bruehl?s two-out, two-run double.

The Eagles drove in a third run with a fourth-inning double by Joshua Garcia and took a 4-0 lead with an RBI single in the fifth. In both innings, the Eagles coaxed leadoff walks off Tabor ace Dustin Hurlbutt.

The sixth inning spelled double the trouble for the Bluejays. Hurlbutt?s night ended after giving up a single and an RBI double to open the inning, but Bruehl keyed the four-run frame with a two-run home run off reliever David Renteria, who had given up an RBI double to Matt Jacobs just two batters prior. By the end of the frame, Embry-Riddle led, 8-0.

The Bluejays scored their only run in the seventh inning. Colton Flax coaxed a one-out walk off Nelson, and after a single by Tanner Bell and a wild pitch to advance the base runners, Flax scored on a ball grounded to the shortstop off the bat of Michael Baca.

The Eagles scored once more in the eighth without a hit. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Michael Ebersole was called to the mound, who limited the damage by sandwiching a Bluejay error with a double play and a strikeout.

Tabor ace Dustin Hurlbutt (10-3) sustained the loss, giving up nine hits and six runs (all earned) over five innings. He walked two batters and struck out six.

In addition to singles by Couch and Bell, Matthew Molbury had a base hit in the bottom of the eighth to account for the three Bluejay hits.

Coming?Tabor will face Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Saturday in an elimination game at 11 a.m. CST. Lindsey Wilson lost to Vanguard (Calif.) Friday, 3-1.

For scores and updates during the World Series, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13

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