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Baseball - Thu, May 9, 2013
8
VS
5
(15)Sterling
(23)Univ of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Andrew Clark's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning lifted No. 15 Sterling College over No. 23 Science and Arts (Okla.) in the first round of the NAIA Opening Round in Oklahoma City on Thursday. The five run fifth inning propelled Sterling into the lead, which the Warriors would not relinquish in the 8-5 victory.

The victory was Sterling's 46th of the year, breaking the Sterling single season wins record of 45 set by the 2012 Warrior squad. Sterling has now set the single season wins record in back to back season under second year Head Coach Adrian Dinkel.

Daniel Cloteaux (10-3, 2.81 ERA) was the starting pitcher for Sterling, earning the win on 6.0 innings pitched. Cloteaux gave up four runs on 13 hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

Sterling's hurler had a rough start, giving up three runs in the top of the second inning. Zach Gonzalez started off the inning with a single for USAO. After an Owen Adams strikeout, Blake Pruett and Konrad Mueller each singled to load the bases. Robert Summers was able to draw a walk after fouling off a 3-2 pitch to give USAO the lead. Jared Coon, who went four for five on the day, then hit a two run single before Cloteaux was able to retire USAO in the second.

The Warriors were able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Joe Battaglia led off with a single. Ian Josh's two out single moved Battaglia to second and then both runners moved up 90 feet on the wild pitch by USAO starter Blake McMullen (9-4, 4.95 ERA). Anthony Feliciano singled up the middle to score both Battaglia and Jaysen Coleman, courtesy running for Josh, to cut the lead to 3-2.

After a scoreless top of the fifth, Joe Williams led off with a Warrior single in the bottom of the inning. Anthony Stewart would walk followed by a Jared Forbush bunt single to load the bases. Battaglia would then single to score Williams from third and keep the bases loaded for Clark, who would blast a grand slam over the left field wall on a 1-0 count to give Sterling a 7-3 lead.

USAO would get a run back in the top of the sixth and hold Sterling scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, prompting Dinkel to make the call to Warrior closer Matt Eshleman (S13, 4.08 ERA). Eshleman would earn the save, giving up just one run in three innings of work on four hits with three strikeouts.

The Warriors would add an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Coleman would score on a wild pitch and Sterling would go on to win 8-5

With the win, Sterling improves to 46-12 and sets a new Sterling College single season wins record. The Warriors advance to play Jamestown, who defeated top seed and No. 2 in the NAIA Oklahoma City 3-0 in the nightcap, at 2:30 pm tomorrow. The game will be available on 95.9 HKFM and online at www.adastraradio.net.