Tabor wins KCAC tournament

Tabor catcher CJ DeDeaux tags out what would have been the tying run in the top of the ninth inning of Saturday?s first championship game against Friends. Friends later hit a two-run double to take the lead and win the game 3-2, but Tabor came back to win the KCAC tournament title with a 19-7 victory in the second game.The Tabor College baseball team earned the KCAC tournament title Saturday by defeating Friends in the second championship game.

The Bluejays were 3-1 in the tournament and faced Friends three times in two days after opening the tournament with a win over Bethany.

After Friends defeated Tabor 3-2 in Saturday?s first championship game, the teams?each with only one loss?met a second time in double-elimination format.

While the previous game was a low-scoring affair, this time the teams combined for 30 hits and 26 runs in Tabor?s 19-7 title-winning victory.

?I think our team showed great heart today because when you lose a game in the ninth like we did, it?s very easy to let that carry over and affect the next game,? coach Mark Standiford said. ?We controlled our destiny. All we had to do was go out and win.?

After a scoreless first inning, Tabor claimed the lead and never relinquished it by scoring four runs on three hits and two errors in the top of the second.

Tabor added to its lead in the top of the fifth when Troy Torres and Kevin Seeger hit back-to-back home runs to drive home three runs.

Leading 7-1, Tabor doubled its score with seven runs in the sixth inning, using singles by Shaun Reid and CJ DeDeaux and two-RBI doubles from Keenan Chanin and Reid.

Tabor added two runs in the top of the seventh inning, then Friends managed one run in the bottom of the inning and another in the eighth for a 16-3 score heading into the final inning.

The Bluejays used six hits in the ninth inning to score three runs, and Friends concluded the inning with four runs on four hits, for the final 19-7 margin.

?When we came into the day, we knew we just had to win one game,??Standiford said. ?It didn?t matter which one.

?The guys really showed great heart. They battled through. They were tired. It?s a long day when you play two nine-inning games, but we were determined.?

Seeger was 4-for-5 and had two RBIs. Reid was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Gadiel Baez hit a triple.

Russell Longworth (9-2) was the winning pitcher. Over six innings, he gave up four hits and one run (earned), while walking one batter and striking out six.

Friends 3, Tabor 2?Saturday?s first championship was a rematch from Friday.

For most of the game, it appeared Tabor would claim the win, as the Bluejays held a 2-0 advantage heading into the final inning after scoring on a balk in the third inning and a Kevin Seeger home run in the fourth.

But with one out in the top of the ninth, Friends threatened with runners on second and third. A single brough one runner home, but Tabor catcher CJ DeDeaux tagged out what would have been the tying run.

Later, with runners again at first and third, the Falcons hit a two-run double to take the lead.

Tabor mustered only one hit in the bottom of the inning, leaving the tying run on second base.

Grant Silva was 2-for-3 at-bat. Seeger was 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Jacob Webb (10-3) absorbed the pitching loss. He scattered four hits over 82?3 innings of work. He gave up three runs (all earned), while walking three batters and striking out eight.

Tabor 9, Friends 3?Tabor faced the third-seeded Fal?cons Friday in the semifinals.

The Bluejays led 2-1 after three innings and increased the lead to 3-1 when Kevin Seeger hit a home run in the top of the fourth.

Friends tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. But from there, it was all Tabor.

Seeger hit his second home run of the game in the sixth to put the Bluejays back in front. Tabor added two runs on two hits and an error in the seventh inning, then knocked out three hits to score twice in the top of the eighth.

The Bluejays gained their final run in the top of the ninth inning.

In all, Tabor had 12 hits. Kirk Rocha was 3-for-4 with one RBI. Seeger was 2-for-3, both home runs, and had two RBIs. Keenan Chanin managed two doubles, while Troy Torres had one.

Junior Mustain (10-2) was the winning pitcher. He scattered nine hits over nine innings of work. He gave up three runs (one earned), while walking one batter and striking out six.

Tabor 6, Bethany 3?Tabor opened play in the tournament with a victory over No. 4 Bethany Thursday in a nine-inning game.

Bethany used a hit and an error to score one run in the top of the first inning, but Tabor took the lead for good with three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the inning. Those hits included a Grant Silva double, Kirk Rocha single and Troy Torres RBI double.

CJ DeDeaux hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give Tabor a 5-1 lead.

Tabor secured its final run in the fourth inning. Bethany added a run in the fifth and a final run in the seventh.

Rocha was 3-for-4. DeDeaux led with two RBIs on 2-for-3 hitting. Kevin Seeger, Silva and Torres (two) doubled.

Jean Acevedo (8-2) was the winning pitcher. He scattered eight hits and three runs (one earned) over eight innings of work. He walked one batter and struck out six.

Alex Mann was credited with the save after pitching one inning and not giving up any hits or runs.

Coming?Tabor (46-11) will host the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round May 12-15 at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson. The site is one of nine nationwide.

Standiford said it will be important for the Bluejays to continue to improve moving forward.

?We need to keep pushing ourselves,??he said. ?You never can be satisfied. Once you become satisfied, you?re done. I think the guys are still hungry as far as getting better, pushing themselves.?

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