Hutchinson, Kan. – An offensive explosion and an a big fifth inning helped propel the No. 2 seeded Tabor College baseball team to a 16-8 victory over No. 3 seed Kansas Wesleyan University in the opening round of the KCAC conference baseball tournament held at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson, Kan.
The Bluejays recorded 20 hits in the game and twice overcame a three-run deficit to help double up the Coyotes on the scoreboard in the game.
Tabor will now advance to the semifinals of the double elimination tournament and will take on either top-seeded Sterling College or fourth-seeded the University of St. Mary Thursday May 3, at 3 p.m.
After Kansas Wesleyan got on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly in the top of the first the Bluejays answered scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take an early 2-1 lead. Junior Koby Temple started the scoring in the inning on an RBI single before senior Matt Weger drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
The Bluejays lead would be short lived as the Coyotes scored four times in the top of the second to retake the lead at 5-2. Kansas Wesleyan recorded a two-run homerun to center field before taking advantage of a Bluejays error to drive in two more runs in the inning.
Tabor would cut the defcit down to one in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by senior Matt Cardona that scored two to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Coyotes.
After a two-run fifth inning by Wesleyan to extend its lead back up to three, the Bluejays would respond in a big way, scoring eight runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead at 12-7. The Bluejays belted out seven hits, including a solo homerun to left field by Weger. Junior Art Corona drove in two on an RBI double, while Temple and seniors Colby Tessendorf and Bret Lentz each added an RBI in the inning.
The Bluejay's final two runs of the inning came courtesy of a couple of Coyotes pitching errors. With bases loaded, Cardona was hit by a pitch before Temple scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
After adding another run in the bottom of the sixth on a Coyotes error, the Bluejays tacked on three more in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a three run homerun by junior Tyler Kozlowski to round out the scoring in the game.
Cardona led the Bluejays at the plate going a perfect 4-4 with three RBIs and one run scored, while Kozlowski also added three RBIs, and scored three runs with a 3-5 performance at the plate. Tabor also got a strong day at the plate from Corona who went 3-6 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and runs scored, while senior Adam McCormick went 3-6 with an RBI and a run scored.
Senior David Ormiston got the start and picked-up the complete game victory allowing seven earned runs on 13 hits while striking out five in nine innings of work.