Northwestern Oklahoma State suffered its first home baseball loss of the season, Monday, with a 5-3 setback against Tabor (Kan.) at Glass Field at Myers Stadium.
The Rangers rallied from a 2-1 deficit with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth but couldn't hang on to the lead. Tabor scored three times in the seventh and blanked Northwestern over its final three at bats to secure the victory.
Northwestern (9-9) dropped to 4-1 at home.
Calvin Ellis went 2 for 3 and drove in a pair of runs to lead the offense.
Camilo Baldelomar finished 1 for 4 with an RBI double and a run scored. He also made the start on the mound but took the loss, allowing four runs over six and two-thirds innings of work. Matt Lambert worked the final five innings in relief for Tabor to earn the win.
The Rangers (9-9) scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning with some well-executed small ball. Nathaneal Hancock singled to open the inning, moved to second on a Jarad Moore bunt and came into score on Ellis' line drive single to right.
Tabor (6-4) strung together three-straight hits off of Baldelomar in the top of the second to score its first run and tie the game at 1. The last was a slow roller down the third base line off the bat of Silva. Keenan Chanin had enough of a jump from third to score easily, leaving Hancock with a tough throw to first. Silva beat it out, and the ball briefly skipped away from Ellis at the bag. Ellis recovered and made a strong throw to third to cut down Ryan Neufeld attempting to take an extra base.
On the next pitch, catcher George Mendoza threw out Silva attempting to steal second to end the threat.
Tabor pulled ahead in the fifth on another wild sequence. With one out, Silva walked and quickly stole second base. A couple of pitches later, he took off for third. Mendoza's throw sailed high and into left field, allowing Silva to score for a 2-1 lead.
Tabor pitchers retired the next 12 Rangers in order before one of its own miscues allowed Northwestern to regroup. Colten Dickerman led off the sixth with a grounder to short that was misplayed for an error. Baldelomar made them pay by smacking a double off the wall in left to bring Dickerman home, and Ellis cashed in Baldelomar with a two-out single through the left side to give Northwestern a 3-2 lead.
On the mound, Baldelomar ran up a high pitch count early but mostly avoided trouble through the first six innings, thanks to seven strikeouts.
After a leadoff single to start the seventh, Baldelomar retired the next two batters but then walked Grant Silva to put runners at the corners.
Clay Thomas came on in relief with the tying run just 90 feet away. Silva then stole second base setting the stage for the game's pivotal play.
Art Corona lashed a single into left field that skipped by the Ranger left fielder and all rolled all the way to wall. Silva and C.J. DeDeaux both scored easily, and Corona circled the bases ahead of the throw home to give Tabor a 5-3 lead.
Lambert slammed the door over the final three innings by retiring nine of the last 11 hitters he faced.
Northwestern opened the ninth with a leadoff walk from Calvin Ellis, but Lambert struck out the next batter and coaxed a double-play grounder to short to end the game.