The second-ranked Tabor College baseball team faced a ranked opponent in No. 24 Sterling last week.
After splitting a doubleheader with the Warriors Thursday, Tabor lost two games at Sterling Saturday?both by one run?to lose the series, 3-1, and move to 12-4 in KCAC play, 34-7 overall.
Sterling?Janae Rempel / Free Press<p>The series began with a doubleheader split at home Thursday.
Tabor lost Game 1, 4-0, in a pitchers? duel as both starters went the distance. Tabor?s Dustin Hurlbutt (6-1) absorbed the loss, giving up five hits and four runs (all earned). He walked one batter and struck out nine. Sterling?s Jose Rendon (5-1) picked up the win, scattering three hits over seven innings while walking one batter and striking out four.
Sterling scored its first two runs in the top of the fourth inning on two hits and an error and added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh off three hits.
Michael Baca, Jerrik Sigg and Alex Couch each had one hit for the Bluejays.
Tabor won Game 2, 6-3.
The Bluejays plated two runs in the bottom of the second. In that inning, Tanner Bell hit an RBI double, and Colton Flax followed with an RBI single.
Tabor added three runs in the fourth inning, which was highlighted by an RBI double by Brent McClure.
Sterling scored its three runs in the top of the sixth on a three-run home run before Tabor added one final run in the bottom of the inning.
Flax was 2-for-2 at-bat, including a double, and he had one RBI. Jean Acevedo (6-0) earned the pitching win. In seven innings, he gave up seven hits and three runs (all earned). He walked one batter and struck out 14.
Tabor then lost two close games at Sterling Saturday. The Bluejays lost Game 1 in 10 innings, 9-8.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Gadiel Baez reached base on a walk and scored on Alex Couch?s RBI single.
Tabor added four runs off of five hits and an error in the top of the third, including a two-RBI double by Jerrik Sigg and an RBI single by Couch.
But Sterling added five runs in the bottom half of the inning, thanks in part to a two-out, three-RBI double, to lead, 6-5.
Tabor took the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. Sigg led off with a home run, and Couch followed with a single. Jean Acevedo later hit a double to bring Couch home. Tabor scored its third run when Colton Flax hit a sacrifice fly.
Sterling scored once with a home run in the fifth, leaving Tabor clinging to a 8-7 lead through five innings. But the Warriors tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth.
The score remained tied through nine innings, but Sterling scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off RBI single.
Gregory Turner (1-2) absorbed the pitching loss. In 41?3 innings of relief, he gave up four hits and one run (earned). He walked one batter and struck out four.
Couch was 3-for-5 at-bat and had two RBIs. Sigg led with three RBIs on 2-for-4 hitting, including a home run and a double.
Tabor lost Game 2, 4-3.
The Bluejays plated two runs in the first inning, after both Baca and Couch reached on a walk and later scored on a dropped fly ball.
Sterling took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Tabor tied it at 3 with a run in the second, when Neufeld hit a single and later scored on an RBI triple by Baca.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the sixth inning when Sterling hit a home run to score what would be the winning run.
Tabor managed just three hits, including one each by Baca, Neufeld and Pete Lelich. Matthew Molbury led with two RBIs.
Russell Longworth (6-2) absorbed the pitching loss. Over six innings, he gave up nine hits and four runs (all earned). He walked no one and struck out nine batters.
Central Christian?Tabor won, 12-2, in a nine-inning game Tuesday.
The Bluejays took control with five runs in the first inning, which included RBI doubles by Gadiel Baez and Colton Flax and an RBI triple by Jerrik Sigg. Manny DeLeon and Matthew Molbury hit RBI singles, and Brent McClure also hit a double in the inning.
Tabor added two runs on a pair of hits and two errors in the second, and plated an eighth run in the top of the third.
Central Christian scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bluejays scored three more in the sixth off of one hit and two errors, and added a final run in the seventh to polish the win.
Three Bluejays were 2-for-3 at-bat: Michael Baca, DeLeon and Molbury. Thomas Longworth was the winning pitcher. He scattered six hits and two runs (both earned)?over five innings of work. He walked one batter and struck out five.
Coming?Tabor was scheduled to face MidAmerica Nazarene in a nine-inning game Tuesday. The Bluejays will resume KCAC play when they travel to Bethany Friday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Tabor will conclude the series by hosting Bethany Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.