By: Sterling College Athletics
Sterling, Kan. (scwarriors.com) – The Warriors had an impressive weekend on their home field against the Southwestern College Moundbuilders. Just snatching the last win out from their opponent’s grasp with a walk off 3-run homerun, the Warriors find their conference record at 6-13 now, heading into the second half of their conference play.
Game 1: Sterling 8 Southwestern 2
Sterling took the first win with an early handle on runs. After a solid defense against the Builders in the first inning, the Warriors scored their first run by Elvis Rumaldo. After Luis Morales grounded out, Rumaldo was hit by the pitch, then stole second to position himself to score. Ryan Speer then hit a single, allowing Rumaldo to score. Sterling took the early 1-0 lead.
In another quick top inning for the Builders, the Warriors scored a run in their next at bat. Layne Thacker was hit by a pitch with one out. Nicholas Keller singled down the left line, then was pinch-ran by Trent Rullman. Kyle Boomgaarden put down a bunt single, filling up the bases for the Warriors. Morales was hit by the pitch, allowing Thacker to make an easy walk home. The Warriors were cut short of any more opportunities as Rumaldo fouled out and Speer struck out swinging.
The Warriors did most of their damage in the third inning after another tight defensive play against the Builders. Johnson and Howard walked for their turns at bat. Chartrand reached first on a fielder’s choice, as the third baseman dropped the ball trying to get Johnson out at third on the force out. Thacker hit a sac fly to right field, allowing Johnson to score. Keller was hit by the pitch. Boomgaarden walked, giving Howard an easy trot home. After a throwing error from the Builder’s third baseman on Morales ground ball, both Chartrand and Rullman, who was running for Keller, scored. Another sacrifice fly by Rumaldo allowed Boomgaarden to score. The inning closed out as Speer flew out to center field. The score was 7-0 for the Warriors.
Sterling tacked on another run in the fifth inning on a Morales single that scored Rullman, once again running for Keller. With an 8-0 lead, Sterling gave up a run each in the top of the eighth and ninth innings making the final score 8-2 Warriors.
Andrew Mason got the start and Chris Isaac came in in relief. Mason pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just five hits and striking out eleven Builder batters. Isaac gave the two runs on three hits and struck out three batters.
Game 2: Sterling 12 Southwestern 1
The Warriors pulled off a run rule against the Builders in the second game. The Builders scored the first run in the second inning to start the scoring. After that, it was all Warriors the rest of the way.
It was in the third inning that the Warriors began their brutal attack. Thacker began with a single out to center field. Keller walked and was pinch-run by Rullman. Damon Redeker struck out swinging. On Morales’s single to left center, Thacker advanced to third and then scored after an error made by the left fielder. Rumaldo followed up with a double, allowing Rullman and Morales to score. Speer struck out swinging, and Johnson was intentionally walked. The inning ended on a groundball that got the lead runner out at second base. This brought the score to 3-1 for the Warriors.
The fifth inning was another successful load of runs for the Warriors. Morales walked, but raced to third and eventually scored on an errant throw on Rumaldo’s double to left center. Speer grounded out and Johnson followed after with a walk. Howard struck out swinging. With two outs for the Warriors, Chartrand singled, allowing Johnson and Rumaldo to score. Thacker singled, giving Chartrand the chance to score. Keller ended the inning on a ground ball that forced Thacker out at second base.
Camrin Wleczyk took the complete game win on the pitcher’s mound against the Builders. Wleczyk gave one run on four hits and struck out six Builder batters.
Game 3: Sterling 8 Southwestern 7
The final game was close for the Warriors as they snatched the win in the last inning. It started with the Builder’s two runs in the first inning, one run in the second inning, and four runs more runs in the fourth inning. Sterling found themselves in a 7-0 deficit half way through the game as they sought their first sweep of the season. The Warriors responded in the fourth inning with three runs. Johnson hit a one-out single, then watched Keller strike out. Chartrand walked, positioning Johnson into scoring position. Thacker then smacked a home run, bringing all three home cutting into the Builder’s 7-3 lead.
The Warriors scored two runs in the fifth inning. With one out for the Warriors, Morales, and Rumaldo walked, then advanced further after a Builder wild pitch. Morales then scored after another wild pitch. Howard fouled out, and Rumaldo scored on another wild pitch. Johnson walked but was cut short of his opportunity after Keller was grounded out. The Builders kept the lead at 7-5.
The Warriors snatched the win in the seventh inning after a walk off homerun from Johnson, finalizing the score 8-7. This was Johnson’s second walk off of the season. His first in the 11-run bottom of the ninth against York University a few weeks ago. It started when Morales was hit by the pitch. Rumaldo walked and Aiden Rowan put down a pinch hit sacrifice bunt to move the tying run to second base. Johnson then smacked the game winning homerun well over the left center field fence, allowing all three runners to come around and score in walk off fashion as the Warriors stole the win from the Builders in an 8-7 win.
Three Warriors shared the pitcher’s mound this game. Gentry Bradbury got the start and gave three runs on three hits and had two strikeouts and four walks. Speer gave four runson five hits and struck out three Builder batters while recording four outs. Gio Ramos gave up two hits and had two strikeouts over three and two-thirds innings and captured the win for Sterling.
The Warriors play against Oklahoma City University in a non-conference game on Apr. 4 on their home field. The first pitch is at 3 pm. The Warriors then continue their conference play in Kansas City, Mo. against Avila University on Apr. 7-8. The first pitch is at 2 pm.