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.
Oklahoma Baptist?Tabor?s efforts against top-seeded Oklahoma Baptist fell short Saturday in the Bluejays? second outing of the World Series.
Tabor mustered three hits to OBU?s six and lost, 3-1. It was the teams? second meeting this year. In the first, Tabor lost, 6-5.
Oklahoma Baptist struck first after hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning.
The Bluejays answered with a run in the top of the fifth. Kirk Rocha singled to score pinch runner Ryan Neufeld, who had entered the game after CJ DeDeaux reached base on a misplayed grounder.
The Bison broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth, using a hit and an error to score a run. They took a 3-1 lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh, again using one hit and one error to score.
Over the next two innings, Tabor mustered one hit?a single by Kevin Seeger in the top of the eighth.
Jacob Webb sustained the pitching loss. He scattered six hits over eight innings and gave up three runs (one earned). He walked four batters and struck out six.
Oklahoma Baptist?s Julian Merryweather gave up three hits and one unearned run in nine innings. He walked three Bluejays and struck out 14.
Rocha, Seeger and Jean Acevedo each had one hit for Tabor.
Southern Poly?Tabor gained a 1-0 victory over No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.) Friday in the first game of the World Series.
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 71?3 innings. He walked three batters and struck out five to earn the win. Acevedo was credited with the save. Over 12?3 innings, he surrendered one hit, walked two batters and struck out one.
?Junior was great today,? coach Mark Standiford said. ?He made pitches when he had to, and our defense rose to the challenge. We turned three double plays in crucial situations.
?Jean got a big strikeout with the bases loaded in the eighth. It was a big win.?
The Bluejays 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 base?runner after the Hornets hit a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt. The next batter lined out, but after two walks, the bases were loaded. Acevedo struck out the sixth Hornet batter to end the inning.
Southern Poly tallied six hits and stranded a total of 11 base runners.
These Bluejays each contributed a hit: Grant Silva, Kirk Rocha, Seeger, Torres and Shaun Reid. Lelich had Tabor?s only RBI.
Coming?Tabor was scheduled to face the loser of No. 3 Oklahoma Wesley?an and No. 10 Cumberland (Tenn.) Tuesday at 3 p.m. PDT. The winner of that game will play Wednesday at 3 p.m. PDT.