Shortstop Juan Sanchez was consistent at the plate against Tabor, going 3-4 for three RBI and four runs scored.-Taylor Jacobson photo

Mar 21, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Baseball Bested by Bluejays

Goodwell, Okla.—Monday’s double header against the Tabor College Bluejays proved to be a battle of the bats in the lengthy afternoon of play, but the Aggies were bested in both seven-inning games (17-13; 10-3).

The Aggies took to the field for game one amidst unsightly conditions of nearly 30mph winds and cool temperatures, but the bats were hot to lead off the first. Tabor got on the board early, scoring two runs off a wild pick-off attempt and an ensuing bases-loaded walk from the Aggies’ Garrison Armstrong on the mound. The bottom of the first would remain quiet for the home team, but the Aggies exploded in the second. Outfielder Chris Schraer started off the bottom of the second with a stand up double over center field. Outfielder Bradley Ruiz reached with a base on balls and Schraer would advance to third. Ruiz’ skilled base running advanced him to second, and a passed ball would bring Schraer home and Ruiz to third. Another base on balls sent Juan Sanchez to first. Sanchez would steal second and Ruiz scored on the failed pickoff attempt by the Bluejays, tying the score 2-2. The Aggies’ hot hitter Nate Kelly stepped to the plate and pulled an RBI single to center, scoring Sanchez, and a successive single from catcher Gerson Padilla advanced Kelly to third. Aaron Moreno stepped in to pinch run for Padilla and quickly advanced to second base. With runners second and third, first baseman Jared Mayeda singled to bring in Kelly and advance Moreno to third. Outfielder Pierce Edwards came in to pinch run for Mayeda, and a two-RBI single from Kasey Leatherwood plated two more runs, scoring Kelly and Moreno. The Bluejays would make a pitching change, but the Aggies would leave the second after plating seven runs, bringing the score 7-2.

Armstrong held the Bluejays to a no-hit second inning but Tabor added two runs in the third off a two-RBI double and Cesar Gomez would take to the bump to relieve Armstrong, but the Aggies answered back by double, adding four runs in the bottom of the inning. Sanchez singled, followed by a barreled double from Kelly, advancing Sanchez to third. Padilla laid a lean sac-bunt to score Sanchez, and Moreno would step in again to pinch run for the Aggie catcher. A wild pitch by the Bluejays scored Kelly and advanced Moreno to second and into scoring position. Freshman outfielder Jaylon Burnett stepped to the plate and crushed a ball over the fence, earning his second home run of the season and scoring two more runs to bring the score 11-4 by the end of the third inning. The Bluejays tacked on another two runs off two hits in the top of the fourth, but the Aggies matched in the bottom of the inning off a two-RBI homerun from Sanchez, building up the score 13-6. In the top of the fifth, Charlie Marini took the mound for the Aggies, but the Bluejays were quick to pick up the sidecar pitcher and caught a mid-game second wind, plating six runs off five hits to bring the Bluejays within one run of tying the Aggies, 13-12. Corey Ley would come in to relieve Marini on the mound in the bottom of the inning. The sixth inning remained scoreless for both teams. The Bluejays continued to battle at the plate, and pulled ahead of the Aggies in the top of the seventh, adding five runs off four hits to bring the score 17-13 in favor of Tabor and sealed the win as the Aggies went three up-three down in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Corey Ley would take the loss for the Aggies on the day.

With freshman pitcher Colby Fuller on the mound to start game two, the Bluejays were quick to plate a run in the top of the first, but the Aggies answered back in the bottom of the inning. Back to back walks lead off the inning and sent Kelly and Sanchez to first and second, and a double steal sent the runners to second and third in scoring position. A sac bunt from Leatherwood advanced Sanchez and scored Kelly, and an RBI single from first baseman Jared Mayeda brought Sanchez home. Tabor battled in the box and plated four runs in the top of the second, and the Aggies would send in freshman pitcher Blake Tucker to the mound. The bats were silent through the third and fourth innings on both sides, but the Tabor bats woke up in the fifth, and the Bluejays tacked on five runs off six hits in the top of the fifth to pull away with the lead 10-2. Senior Josh Casillas stepped to the rubber to relieve Tucker and hold the Bluejays scoreless. The Aggies added another run off an RBI double from Sanchez in the bottom of the sixth but the damage was done and the Bluejays walked away with the win, 10-3. Colby Fuller would take the loss for the Aggies in game two.

The midweek matchup left the Aggies at 14-20 on the season. The Aggies will take to the road and travel to Chickasha, Okla. this weekend to face the University of Science and Arts Drovers for a Sooner Athletic Conference three-game series Friday and Saturday. The team returns home for another SAC matchup against the Southwestern Assemblies of God Lions over March 30-31, with game one of the three-game contest beginning on Friday, March 30 at 1 p.m. on Aggie Field.

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