Bluejays split two with Sterling

In a series affected by rain, the Tabor College baseball team split its first two games with Sterling Friday.

Tabor won Game 1, 7-5.

The Bluejays scored all seven runs before weathering a Warrior rally over the final four innings.

After three scoreless innings, Tabor enjoyed a five-hit, five-run top of the fourth inning. Joel Frias keyed the frame with a two-run double. The Bluejays also used a Warrior error.

Tabor put up single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings, benefitting from a pair of walks and an error in the fifth and a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Harris in the sixth.

Sterling, however, roughed up Bluejay starter Jagger Harjo for three hits to start the bottom half of the sixth inning, including a two-run home run. Skyler Cohn entered to secure the final out, but by the end of the inning, Sterling had scored three runs.

The Warriors plated a fourth run in the seventh inning off two hits, including a solo home run, and an error.

Tabor went to its bullpen twice in the eighth inning. Alfredo Valentin Perez relieved Cohn one batter in, then Tommy Sleva came in to secure the final out of the inning.

Edwin Suarez entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and induced the final out via fly ball to center.

Harjo (7-0) earned the pitching win. In 52⁄3 innings of work, he gave up five hits and three earned runs. He walked five batters and struck out eight. Suarez (1-1-1) was credited with the save.

Three Bluejays were 2-for-4 at-bat: Harris, Haydon Mahe-Liessmann and Kyle James. Harris and Frias each had two RBIs.

Tabor lost Game 2, 9-7.

Colton Flax’s RBI double scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, but in the bottom half of the inning, Sterling plated three runs off three hits and an error to take the lead.

The Warriors extended it to 7-1 with a three-hit, four-run bottom of the third, blasting a three-run home run in the frame that ended Bluejay starter Jahaziel Cantu’s outing after 21⁄3 innings of work.

Each team plated two runs in the fifth inning, Tabor’s via three hits and an error, Sterling’s via four hits.

Trailing 9-3 heading into the seventh inning, the Bluejays rallied, knocking out five hits and scoring four runs.

In that half-inning, Flax and Braxon Byfield hit one-out singles, then Haydon Mahe-Liessmann worked a walk to load the bases. John Izquierdo drove in the first run of the frame with a single, then Jaxson Hooge drove in two more with a base hit. Kyle James hit a double to score what would be Tabor’s final run of the game.

Flax was 3-for-4 at-bat and had two RBIs. Hooge also had two RBIs.

Cantu sustained the pitching loss, giving up six hits and seven runs (six earned). He walked no one and struck out one batter.

Tabor was scheduled to play Game 3 of the series Monday, after wet fields caused Saturday’s finale to be postponed.

Coming—Tabor (10-4, 27-8) will take a break from KCAC play to host Peru State in a doubleheader today at 1 p.m.

The Bluejays will return to conference play by hosting a three-game series with York (9-4, 20-16) Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m.