HUTCHINSON, Kan.– The top seeded Sterling College Warriors completed a sweep of the KCAC Championship Tournament by defeating No. 2 Tabor College for the second time in two days 9-5. Sterling becomes the 2012 KCAC Champion and will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round. Tabor also receives on automatic bid as the Bluejays will host one of nine five team double elimination tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. at Hobart-Detter Field. The two teams will find out their draws on Sunday.
Tabor took an early lead with one run in the top of the second inning on a sacrifice fly, but the Warriors would respond with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Warriors would add another run in the bottom of the third on a Joe Williams home run.
In the top of the fourth, Tabor would tie the game on a two run home run by Adam McCormick in straight away center.
Sterling regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a Bluejay error that scored Joe Williams after Williams doubled to open the inning. The Warriors then added another two runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits.
The Bluejays would cut the lead to one in the top of the seventh inning on three hits including a single by KCAC Player of the Year Art Corona. Tabor would be unable to tie the score, allowing Sterling to retain a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sterling would add three insurance runs, all with two outs to take a 9-5 lead into the ninth.
Warrior Matt Eshleman would slam the door in the bottom of the ninth, having pitched 2.1 innings to earn the save for Sterling and to crown the Warriors as 2012 KCAC Baseball Tournament Champions.
Levi LeBass (8-4) earned the win for Sterling. LeBass went 6.2 innings, giving up five runs, all earned, on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Nicholas Reif (5-3) picked up the loss for Tabor. Reif went 5.2 innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on ten hits with three strikeouts.
Eshleman earned his fourth save of the season in his 2.1 innings of work. Eshleman gave up only one hit and struck out four.
Sterling improves to 43-12.
Tabor is now 41-13.