The ninth-seeded Tabor College baseball team survived to see another day with a thrilling, come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over No. 6 Georgia Gwinnett in walk-off fashion Monday in the Bluejays? third outing of the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Tabor used a hit and an error to score two runs and win the game.
With one out, CJ DeDeaux reached on a walk. Grant Silva knocked out a double on a full count, allowing pinch runner Ryan Neufeld to advance to third and then score the tying run on a misplayed grounder. With Gadiel Baez at the plate, Silva stole third base. Both Baez and Kirk Rocha were intentionally walked, loading the bases and bringing Kevin Seeger to the plate. Seeger hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field, and Silva scored to win the game in walk-off fashion.
In the first inning, Georgia Gwinnett got on the board quickly with a run on three hits.
Tabor managed three hits over the first four innings, and the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Grizzlies until the Bluejays used a big fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead.
Armando Castillo led off with a walk, then Pete Lelich reached base on a sacrifice fielder?s choice. Castillo advanced safely to second. Shaun Reid then bunted and reached on a base hit to load the bases with no outs. Tabor?s first run came when CJ DeDeaux was hit by a pitch. Silva walked to score another, Baez hit an RBI single, and Kirk Rocha contributed a sacrifice fly. Kevin Seeger was hit by a pitch to again load the bases, but Troy Torres grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Georgia Gwinnett responded by tying the game with three runs on three hits (two of them doubles) and two errors in the top of the sixth inning. The Grizzlies then took a 5-4 lead with a solo home run in the top of the eighth, a margin that remained until the final half inning.
Tabor totaled six hits to Georgia Gwinnett?s 13. Silva was 2-for-4, including a double, with one RBI.
Russell Longworth was the winning pitcher. In one inning, he gave up one hit and no runs. He walked no one and struck out two. Jean Acevedo got the start for Tabor. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up nine hits and four runs (three earned) while walking one and striking out three. Alex Mann pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and one run (earned) with one walk and one strikeout.
Coming?Tabor will face the loser of No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 10 Cumberland (Tenn.) Tuesday at 3 p.m. PDT. The winner of that game is slated to play Wednesday at 3 p.m. PDT.