Warrior Baseball Finishes Second; Ready for KCAC Tournament
Sterling, Kan. – After winning three games out of four against Tabor College this past weekend, the Sterling College Warrior baseball team is preparing for the 2011 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Baseball Championship Tournament that begins on Tuesday at Hobart-Detter Field in Hutchinson, Kansas. Sterling will be the second seed in the tournament as the Warriors finished one game out of a regular season KCAC title behind Kansas Wesleyan University with a 20-8 KCAC record. In the first round of the tournament, SC will play Tabor, which will be their fifth straight game against the Bluejays, at 11:00 am on Wednesday morning.
The top five teams in the KCAC qualify for the KCAC Tournament. This year’s top seed is Kansas Wesleyan University, followed by Sterling, Tabor, the University of Saint Mary and Ottawa University. Saint Mary and Ottawa will open the tournament on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm, with the winner advancing to play Kansas Wesleyan at 3:00 pm. In the tournament, the five teams will face off in a grueling eight to nine game double elimination tournament that spans four days with the championship matchup starting at 3:00 pm on Friday.
SC started last week tied for second in the KCAC, two games behind the conference leading Bluejays with four games against Tabor as the only remaining games on the schedule. The Warriors hosted TC in the opening double header of the four game series on Friday, winning both games. In the first game, Sterling handled Tabor easily and won in a run rule shortened game 14-1.
In the second game of the double header, the capacity crowd witnessed one of the greatest late season games in Sterling College history. Tabor’s David Ormiston had no-hit the Warriors through three innings and had a 4-0 lead when Sterling exploded for a four run fourth inning to tie the game. The Bluejays went back on top in the top of the fifth with a three run inning, but the lead did not last long as SC answered with a four run fifth.
Again in the sixth inning, Tabor would score, tying the game at eight, but Sterling would answer by scoring two runs in the bottom half of the sixth. Sterling would be unable to close out the game, giving up two runs in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning, with a runner on first and third base, Sterling’s true freshmen Nick Lavallee would come to the plate and deliver a clutch single, sealing the win for the Warriors 11-10.
On Saturday, the final game of the season, there would be a three way tie for the conference lead between Sterling, Tabor, and Kansas Wesleyan, all with a 19-7 KCAC record. Sterling would win the first game of the away double header against Tabor 12-6, but would falter in the final game of the series, losing 3-12. In Salina, Kansas Wesleyan would sweep their series with Ottawa University for the KCAC regular season title.
Sterling finished the 2011 regular season with a 28-22 overall record, 20-8 in the KCAC. The Warriors will play in their KCAC Tournament opener on Wednesday morning at 11:00 am at Hobart-Detter Stadium in Hutchinson, Kansas against the Tabor College Bluejays. Adult admission is $10, seniors are $5, and students are $3.