HILLSBORO, Kan. – After dropping the first game of a double header in Hillsboro, Kan. against the Tabor College Bluejays 3-6, the Warrior offense exploded as Sterling College won the second game 26-5. Offensively, Sterling hit its groove in the third inning of the second game, scoring 13 runs in the inning. Splitting with Tabor on Friday means that the Warriors must sweep Tabor in Sterling on Saturday to win the KCAC Regular Season Title and earn the first seed in the KCAC Championship Tournament.
Levi LeBass (7-4, 3.27 ERA) pitched the first game for Sterling, going a complete 6.0 innings and giving up six runs on six hits while striking out three. The Bluejays were able to hit two homeruns off of LeBass in the game.
Tabor took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, but the Warriors responded with a run in each the fourth and the fifth to take a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth. In Tabor's half of the inning, the Bluejays would score four runs to take the 6-3 lead which ended up the final score.
Joe Williams (.380 BA, 28 RBI) led Sterling at the dish by going two for four with two runs scored and a solo homerun. Chase Daniel (.370 BA, 32 RBI) also had a good day at the plate. Daniel went two for three with an RBI.
Daniel Cloteaux (10-1, 2.39 ERA) took the mound and earned the victory for Sterling in the second game. With a large lead, Coach Adrian Dinkel took Cloteaux out of the game to rest for the KCAC Tournament after 5.0 innings of work. During his outing, Cloteaux gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Mike Barro (0-3, 5.32 ERA) finished the game for Sterling, pitching 2.0 innings and giving up two runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
After two innings, Sterling had taken a 3-1 lead. In the top of the third, the Warriors exploded with 13 runs while Tabor was only able to answer with two runs in the bottom half, making the score16-3. The Warriors added four runs in the fifth, a run in the sixth, and five runs in the seventh while Tabor only managed one run in each the sixth and seventh innings. Sterling won the game 26-5, pounding the Bluejays by 21 runs.
Jared Forbush (.404 BA, 37 RBI) led Sterling in the game, going four for six, scoring four runs, hitting one homerun, one triple and recording seven RBIs. Stephen Rodgers (.329 BA, 43 RBI) went three for five for the Warriors with two runs scored and five RBIs. Williams went three for six with three runs scored and a solo homerun in the game.
With two games to play, Sterling remains two games back of Tabor in the KCAC standings. The Warriors must win both Saturday games in Sterling to clinch a share of the KCAC Regular Season Title. Kansas Wesleyan, who faces Ottawa in a double header on Saturday, is currently tied with Sterling in the standings. If both Sterling and KWU were to win both of their games on Saturday, there would be a three way tie for the KCAC Regular Season Title and Sterling would receive the top seed in the KCA Championship Tournament. Depending on the outcome of Saturday's games, Sterling could be either the top, second, or third seed in the KCAC Championship Tournament.
Currently, the Warriors are 38-12 overall, 19-7 in the KCAC. Sterling will host Tabor tomorrow at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The second game will be available on the Sterling College Sports Network.