Eleven TC baseball athletes earn All-KCAC honors

Eleven members of Tabor College?s NAIA Opening-Round qualifying baseball team have received recognition from KCAC coaches.

Three Bluejays were named to the first team: juniors Alex Couch and Dustin Hurlbutt and sophomore Jerrik Sigg.

Couch, a third baseman from Castlewood, Va., batted .398 over 56 games, ranking him 48th in NAIA Division I and fourth in the KCAC. He tallied 70 hits?including 13 doubles and two home runs?and had 41 RBIs.

Hurlbutt, a pitcher from Coffeyville, Kan., went 10-1 as a starter this season, with an ERA of 2.78 in 741?3 innings of work, which ranks fifth in the KCAC. He struck out a team-high 90 batters, ranking him 22nd in NAIA Division I. He ranks 11th in NAIA Division I in wins, 14th in batters struck out per game (10.9) to lead the KCAC, and 43rd in hits allowed per game (6.9). Opponents batted .218 against him, ranking him second in the conference. Hurlbutt was named Co-Pitcher of the Year with Sterling?s Jose Rendon.

Sigg, an outfielder from Iola, batted .358 over 57 games. He tallied 67 hits?including nine doubles, five triples and a team-high 11 home runs, which ranks 25th in NAIA Division I. Sigg contributed 54 RBIs, to lead the Bluejays and rank 41st nationally. He ranks first in the NAIA in fielding percentage (100), 28th in triples, 32nd in runs scored (57), 37th in home runs per game (0.193) and 44th in total bases (119). He averaged 0.95 RBIs per game, ranking him fifth in the KCAC.

Sigg was also named to the Gold Glove Team.

Five Bluejays were named to the second team: seniors Gadiel Baez, Matt Molbury and Jean Acevedo; and juniors Michael Baca and Manny DeLeon.

Baez, a second baseman from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, batted .333 over 47 games. He had 52 hits, including 12 doubles, one triple and six home runs. He contributed 34 RBIs. Baez ranked 42nd in NAIA Division I in runs scored per game (1.043) and 47th in steal attempts per game (0.574).

Molbury, a catcher from Queens, N.Y., batted .328 over 44 games. He tallied 40 hits, including eight doubles and five home runs. He drove in 33 runs.

Acevedo, a pitcher from Miami, Fla., went 9-1 as a starter this season, ranking 23rd nationally in wins. He had an ERA of 3.05 over 732?3 innings of work. He struck out 87 batters to rank 28th in NAIA Division I. He ranks 23rd nationally?and second in the KCAC behind Hurlbutt?in batters struck out per game (10.63).

Baca, a shortstop from Amarillo, Texas, batted .338 over 57 games. He had 71 hits, including seven doubles, four triples and six home runs. He had 28 RBIs. He ranks 17th in NAIA Division I in total at-bats (210).

DeLeon, an outfielder from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, batted .412 in 52 games played this season, ranking 27th nationally and second in the KCAC. He tallied 56 hits, including eight doubles, one triple and 10 home runs. He had 42 RBIs. He ranked 18th in NAIA Division I in slugging percentage (70.6), 37th in home runs and 38th in home runs per game (0.192).

Three Bluejays received honorable mention: senior Russell Longworth, junior Greg Turner and sophomore Colton Flax.

Longworth, a pitcher from Waterford, Calif., went 9-3 as a starter this season with an ERA of 2.69 over 732?3 innings of work, ranking fourth in the KCAC. He struck out 71 batters, averaging 8.67 per game to rank fourth in the KCAC. He ranks fifth in NAIA Division I in walks allowed (6) and walks allowed per game (0.73). He ranks 23rd in wins.

Turner, a pitcher from Moreno Valley, Calif., went 4-2 this season and had one save. He had an ERA of 1.44 in 432?3 innings of work and struck out 36 batters.

Flax, a designated hitter from Wichita, batted .349 over 46 games this season. He had 45 hits, including 11 doubles and four home runs. He drove in 40 runs.

Coach Mark Standiford was named Coach of the Year after leading the Bluejays to their fourth-consecutive regular-season title with a 22-6 KCAC record. Tabor won its second-consecutive conference tournament championship and qualified for the NAIA Opening Round tournament. The Bluejays rank fifth in the final NAIA Top 25 poll.

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