The ninth-seeded Tabor College baseball team gained a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.) Friday in the first game of the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
With Jean Acevedo on the mound in relief of starter Junior Mustain, Tabor earned the win when Southern Poly stranded the tying run on base in the top of the ninth inning.
The final half inning began with a Hornet double down the left field line, followed by a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third. Acevedo and the Bluejays escaped unscathed, however, when the next two batters grounded out.
Mustain got the start for Tabor, scattering five hits over 7 1/3 innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out five to earn the win. Acevedo was credited with the save. Over 1 2/3 innings, he surrendered one hit, walked two batters and struck out one.
The Hornets began the game with one hit in the opening inning and stranded two runners on base.
The Bluejays endured three straight outs in their first batting opportunity, but got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Kevin Seeger led off with a double down the right field line, and Troy Torres followed with a single. After Armando Castillo grounded out, Seeger scored when Pete Lelich grounded out.
Tabor managed three hits over the next seven innings and left a total of six runners on base in the game.
The Hornets threatened in the top of the seventh inning with runners on first and third with one out, but the fourth batter grounded into a double play to end the half inning.
In the top of the eighth, the Bluejays again escaped without surrendering a run. Acevedo entered in relief of Mustain, inheriting a baserunner after the Hornets hit a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt. The third Hornet batter lined out, but after two walks, the bases were loaded. Acevedo struck out the sixth Hornet batter to end the inning.
The Bluejays got one final hit in the bottom of the eighth and left one on base, setting up the final half inning.
Southern Poly tallied six hits and stranded a total of 11 runners on base.
These Bluejays each contributed a hit: Grant Silva, Kirk Rocha, Seeger, Torres and Shaun Reid. Lelich had Tabor?s only RBI.
Coming?With the win, Tabor will face No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist Saturday at 3 p.m. PDT. Tabor lost a 6-5 nine-inning decision to Oklahoma Baptist in April. The winner of Saturday?s game will play Monday at 3 p.m. PDT against the winner of Faulkner (Ala.) and Georgetown (Ky.).