By Anthony Monson, Tabor (Kan.) Sports Information Director
Dallas, Texas. – The 2014 Tabor College (Kan.) baseball team sent shockwaves through NCAA Division II ranks as it swept No. 3 St. Edwards University Texas) in a doubleheader this past Saturday in Dallas, Texas.
The Hilltoppers were coming off of an impressive 2013 season in which they won the NCAA South Regional for the first time and advanced to the NCAA Division II World Series with a record of 44-18. St. Edwards would continue its strong play in the World Series, advancing to the semifinals of the tournament before falling to national runner-up Minnesota State University.
“These wins are very good, no doubt,” said Tabor Head Coach Mark Standiford. “Our pitching was outstanding. We shut down a very good team. What impressed me the most was the way we competed. We overcame some early mistakes and battled through some adversity.”
Tabor’s pitching staff held the Hilltoppers to only eight hits in the two games, as the Bluejays won game one by the score of 4-2 and game two by the score of 4-3.
Sophomore pitcher Jacob Webb set the tone for the two-game series in game one, allowing just one earned run, on three hits, while striking out two in five innings of work. Seniors Alex Hill and Alex Mann held St. Edwards without a hit in the final two innings of play to secure the victory.
Senior Kirk Rocha led Tabor at the plate going a perfect 4-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while fellow seniors Tory Torres and Grant Silva each finished the game with two hits apiece. Torres also added an RBI, while Silva scored a run.
In game two it was junior Jean Acevedo’s turn to take the mound and the Hutchinson Community College product delivered a complete game performance. Acevedo finished the day allowing just two earned runs, on five hits, while striking out four in seven innings of work.
Senior Kevin Seeger aided the strong pitching effort with two RBIs, while Torres and senior CJ DeDeaux each chipped in with an RBI apiece.
Tabor, which is receiving votes in the NAIA top 25 preseason poll, entered the 2014 season picked second in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll. The Bluejays finished the 2013 campaign with a record of 24-4 in conference play and 40-16 overall. Their outstanding record earned them a share of the conference title for the second straight year and an at-large bid to the opening round of the NAIA national baseball championship. Tabor went 2-2 at the Santa Clarita, Calif., opening round before being eliminated by San Diego Christian University in a 10-inning game.
Over the past three seasons Tabor has compiled a record of 129-45 while advancing to the opening round of the NAIA national baseball championship twice. Tabor hosted the school’s first ever opening round of the national tournament in 2012, where the Bluejays fell in the championship game to eventual World Series runner-up Rogers State University (Okla.).