A day after dropping a closely-contended contest at Wichita State 5-3,
the Tabor College baseball team rallied from five runs down to beat
Friends 10-7 on the first night of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic
Conference double-elimination tournament in Junction City. The Bluejays
trailed 5-0 after the Falcons finished starting pitcher Wes Stancher's
night in the first of nine innings.
Friends shortstop Austin Stading smashed Stancher's second pitch
over the left field fence, and the Falcons tacked on four consecutive
singles for a 3-0 lead before Tabor recorded an out. Relief pitcher
Travis Schafer was also greeted rudely, as Friends left fielder Jordan
Miller drilled a 2-run double to cap the early scoring outburst.
The Bluejays started chipping away immediately in the bottom half,
as CJ Henrichsen turned a hit-by-pitch free pass into Tabor's first run
with help from a single by Tyson Kendrick, a passed ball, and a
run-scoring fielder's choice groundout by Tanner Stevenson. After
Schafer worked a 1-2-3 top half, Henrichsen helped Tabor add two more
runs in the bottom of the second, doubling home Clayton Kessler and
Ryan Boucher with two outs.
Friends extended its lead to 7-3 before the Bluejays scored again.
Stading's second homer of the night made it a 4-run game, but the
Bluejays closed the gap to 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth. Mike Chaput,
Stevenson, and Paul Bridenbaugh singled in succession, with Chaput
scoring when Andrew Cook was beaned by Jimmy Treece with the bases
loaded. After an infield fly was booked for the first out, Dustin Dick
walked to force home another run. Boucher singled home Bridenbaugh,
bringing Henrichsen to the plate with the bases loaded?but a 4-6-3
double play grounder ended the inning.
Schafer worked the top of the sixth without incident, walking
Stading with two outs before striking out Brett Warkentine looking.
Behind Kendrick's leadoff double, Tabor evened the tally in the bottom
of the sixth. After a groundout, Stevenson's single scored pinch runner
Anthony Williamson from third.
Bridenbaugh started the seventh and stranded a runner at second to
preserve a 7-7 score, and the Bluejays erupted for three runs. With the
bases loaded for him again Henrichsen punched a grounder past Stading
to drive in two runs on the game's only fielding error. Kendrick
followed with a single that scored Boucher from second. Bridenbaugh
notched two strikeouts in the eighth and induced three fly outs in the
ninth to earn the win.
Tabor plays Kansas Wesleyan at 3 p.m. today (Thursday, April 30).
The tournament runs through Saturday, with all games to be played at