STERLING, Kan. – On Saturday at Warrior Field in Sterling, Kan., the Sterling College Warrior baseball team swept Tabor College in a double header to win the 2012 KCAC Regular Season Championship. The Warriors won the first game 5-4 in 10 innings and the second game 7-6.
After trailing most of the game, Sterling tied it up in the bottom of the seventh during game one of the double header. Again Sterling trailed in the ninth and again Sterling answered.
In the bottom of the tenth, Sterling's Shey Miller would strike out with two outs and a runner at first, but a dropped third strike allowed Miller to reach first safely. Joe Williams, who had a huge day for Sterling, delivered the game winning hit on the next pitch, scoring Brock Moss from second to give Sterling the 5-4 victory.
"Our guys continue to grind and don't quit," said Head Coach Adrian Dinkel. "When you throw in some talent, good things will happen."
Matt Eshleman earned the win for Sterling. Eshleman replaced Erelio Mesa after 1.1 innings of work and pitched 8.2 innings. Tabor was unable to figure out Eshleman scoring only one unearned run on five hits against the Sterling south paw.
In the second game, the Warriors found themselves taking a 7-4 lead into the top of the seventh before chaos would happen. Tabor would score three runs including a disputed play at the plate to bring the game within one run with runners at second and third and NAIA batting leader Adam McCormick coming to the plate.
Dinkel wasted no time bringing Eshleman into the game to face McCormick in a lefty verse lefty matchup. Eshleman got McCormick to ground out to end the game and earn the save.
"Winning the regular season title was one of the goals we set when the year started," said Dinkel. "I'm proud of our guys for accomplishing that goal. Now we will get back at it and get prepared for the tournament."
Eshleman was the story from the mound, giving up only one unearned run on five hits in nine innings of work on the day. Eshleman earned both a win and a save in the double header.
Williams was the story at the plate. Along with getting the game winning RBI in the first game, Williams went seven for ten at the plate with three doubles and five RBIs.
The Warriors are now 40-12 on the season, 21-7 in the KCAC and will have the top seed in the KCAC Championship Tournament that is on Tuesday through Friday this week at Hobart-Detter Stadium in Hutchinson, Kan.