Eagles overcome bad inning, rally to beat Tabor 5-4 in 10

Tyler Sturges pitched the final two innings in relief to pick up the win against Tabor.
Tyler Sturges pitched the final two innings in relief to pick up the win against Tabor.

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 4, 2013) – Blake Stringer’s bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Oklahoma Christian past Tabor (Kan.) 5-4 on a chilly, windy Monday night at Dobson Field.

OC (7-7) committed three errors in the top of the first inning and fell behind Tabor 4-0, then chipped away for the rest of the baseball game, first forcing extra innings, then securing the win.

The Eagles used two walks and an error to load the bases with no outs in the 10th against Tabor reliever Jacob Webb (0-1). Another reliever for the Bluejays, Alex Webb, came on and got Dillon Andrews to pop up to short right field and Caleb Price to hit into a forceout at home, but Stringer delivered a ground ball that made it through the infield, allowing Jordan Lopez to score the winning run.

Stringer finished 3-for-6 at the plate. Tyler Sturges (2-1) pitched the final two innings for OC to pick up the win, wriggling out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th by striking out CJ DeDeaux.

“We had a bad first inning,” OC coach Lonny Cobble said. “I was just glad we battled back after that. I thought we were lucky to only be down four. But these guys haven’t quit all year. They’ve battled all year. I just wish we’d battled from the word go and not try to make it so exciting.”

It was OC’s fifth extra-inning game this season. The Eagles are 3-2 in those games.

Tabor (5-4) was the beneficiary of OC’s shoddy first-inning defense, sprinkling in four hits to go with the Eagles’ three errors. OC starter Brock Werdel settled down and pitched three shutout innings before giving way in the fifth to a string of relievers. Jesse Stephens and Kacy Cook each allowed one hit in two innings before Sturges came on to start the ninth inning.

Sturges had been scheduled to start Tuesday against Southern Nazarene, but once Cobble learned that the SNU game would be postponed, he decided to use Sturges, who normally is a starter, in relief.

OC chipped away offensively, scoring once each in the first, third and fifth innings. In the fifth, Garrett Stephenson laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Stringer from third base and cut Tabor’s lead to 4-3.

The Eagles tied the game in the eighth without a hit. Cory Eastwood walked with one out and Markus Carr was hit by a pitch by Tabor’s Jon Murray. Webb came on and walked Andrews, loading the bases with two outs. Webb then hit Price with a pitch, forcing Eastwood home with the tying run.