HUTCHINSON, Kan. – A battle in the second elimination game of the NAIA Opening Round in Kansas went to Tabor College, 8-5, over Judson University. Judson finishes their year at 47-14 and won their first-ever CCAC regular season championship and NAIA post season game while winning a program best 47 games.
Matt McHenry led the team going 3-of-5 with one RBI on the day as Billy Wright, Cameron Balough, and Tony Rallo all had RBI. Balough, Raymond and Rallo also provided two hits each for the team. George Heller took the loss going five innings with four strikeouts. Jordan Pemble finished the final four innings and recorded four strikeouts. Judson finished with 12 hits in which all were singles.
The momentum started with Judson as they brought in three runs in the third inning with the pitching Heller behind them. With two outs, Balough and Raymond had back-to-back singles and then Rallo followed with a single and that brought in Raymond as Balough followed on a misplayed ball by the left fielder. McHenry made it 3-0 with a single to right field as Judson had everything going for them.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Heller had retired 10 straight Tabor batters before they bounced around four runs on three hits with two outs to take the lead, 4-3. They made it 5-3 in the top of the sixth but Judson climbed back into the run race with one run in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Balough singled in Johnny Amann from second base to put Judson within one, 5-4.
Tabor answered in the top of the eighth with a run to extend their lead to two, 6-4, only to see Judson pick up one run in the bottom of the inning to be back within one, 6-5. Wright brought in the run on a ground out as Amann touched home plate.
Judson then gave up two runs in the top of the ninth inning on one hit and two throwing errors as Tabor cushioned their lead to three, 8-5. That is what the final would be as Judson was retired one, two, three in the bottom of the inning.
The 2012 season was the finest in school history as Judson made huge strides under head coach Rich Benjamin in his fifth season. Judson won their first-ever CCAC regular season championship going 25-4 and then earned the automatic bid to the NAIA Opening Round. In Kansas, Judson won their first-ever NAIA post season game over Dakota State, 9-4. Judson also received their first-ever ranking in program history and was ranked as high as 16thin the country and then won a program best 47 games.