LINDSBORG — The Bethany College baseball team could not overcome two slow starts as the 14th-ranked team in the nation, the Tabor College Bluejays, swept Thursday afternoon's doubleheader.
The Swedes (19-25, 11-11 KCAC) fell 7-5 in Game One before losing Game Two, 4-0. Tabor is now 18-4 in the KCAC, 37-10 overall.
After escaping a second and third threat in the first inning, Bethany put the pressure on Tabor right away. Sammuel Ramirez led off the inning with a walk. Pablo Contreras followed later in the inning with a single to center field. Daniel Hordo reached safely on an error to load the bases with one out. Tabor got out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.
The Bluejays exploded in the second inning plating the first runs of the game. Tabor ended up getting four hits, two walks and a batter hit to score five runs. The Swedes would answer right back though. In the bottom of the third inning, Nicholas Ceccarelli led off the inning with a single. After a fielder's choice and error which led to Ceccarelli being out at second and Ramirez standing on second, Aaron Huerta hit a double to deep left-center field. Ramirez scored on the play.
But Bethany was not done with its attack. Contreras was hit by a pitch, bringing Hordo to the plate. He hit a sharp single to right field, and the Tabor's right fielder misplayed the ball letting it get behind him. Huerta and Contreras both scored on the play and Hordo ended on third. Cord Briggs grounded out to the shortstop but it was deep enough to score the courtesy runner, Diego McCollum. The Swedes trailed 5-4 at the end of the third inning.
With the Swedes right on their tail, Tabor went back to work offensively. The Bluejays scored two more runs on three hits, once again extending their lead. Trailing 7-4, both teams went quietly until the seventh inning. With the Swedes trailing by three and down to their final outs, Ceccarelli led off the inning with a single to left field. Ramirez then singled to right field putting the first two of the inning on. Ceccarelli would score on a Contreras groundout, but that was all Bethany got.
Ryley Ross took the loss.
The Swedes sent ace Dan Eck took to the mound in Game Two as they hoped to salvage a split in the doubleheader. Tabor jumped on him early before he fully got into a rhythm. The Bluejays scored two runs in the first inning on two hits and an error. They also scored two runs in the second inning giving them the four run lead. It was all they needed behind the arm of Junior Mustain.
Both Mustain and Eck threw complete games, the difference was on the offensive side. Tabor collected eight hits while Contreras was the only Swede to get a hit.
Eck gave up only three runs on eight hits in all seven innings he pitched. He also struck out five batters on the afternoon. Huerta, Ceccarelli, and Contreras all collected two hits on the afternoon for the Swedes. Briggs, Contreras, Hordo, and Huerta each had an RBI for the two games.
Bethany will travel to Hillsboro to play Tabor in another doubleheader on Saturday.