Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Sterling Baseball Keeps Postseason Hopes Alive with Sweep


Sterling, Kan. ( – Warrior baseball came away with a huge sweep over the Avila University Eagles over the weekend with comeback wins in two of the three games, including an extra innings walkoff in the final game of the series. They won game one 10-4, game two 13-12, and game three, 9-8, in eight innings.

Game 1 – Sterling 10, Avila 4


The Warriors were able to put the game away late after a tightly contested game most of the way. Early on, Sterling started the scoring and was instantly met by the Eagles. Sterling scored a run in the second, Avila answered with a run in the third. Sterling scored two in the third, Avila answered with two in the fourth. The Warriors gained an advantage with two in the fourth, and Avila did not answer. The Warriors held a 5-3 lead into the seventh before Avila scored one run, their final run. Sterling’s answer was five security runs in the seventh, taking advantage of a two-out error that allowed the final two runs to score in the inning.

Andrew Dutro carried the hot stick going 3 for 5 scoring two runs and knocking in two as well. Sterling had eleven hits as a team. Joseph Almanza got the scoring going with a solo homerun in the second inning. Luis MoralesNicholas KellerNate Heffline, and Austin Santiago all knocked in one run each.

Trent Canaan started the game and went four and two thirds innings. He gave up three runs on ten hits and struck out three, but fell one out shy of qualifying for the win. Tyler Duffey pitched two innings in relief and acquired the win. Cipriano Rivera closed out the day for Sterling.

Game 2 – Sterling 13, Avila 12


Avila came out ready to play scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, setting the tone for the scoring that happened the rest of the day. Sterling answered with a run in the first. Avila extended their lead to 6-1 after scoring two more in the third. The Warrior’s answer came by scoring ten straight runs. They got three in the third, a solo homerun from Albert Bisono in the fourth, another run in the fifth and five more runs in the seventh. Avila was able to make it a game scoring six runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but two runs for Sterling in the eight provided just enough security for the 13-12 win.

Dutro once again paced the Warriors with three hits. He also had three runs and a pair of RBIs. Almanza and Keller each had a pair of hits, including a double each. Almanza led Sterling with three RBIs. Luis Morales did not record a hit, but scored three runs from three walks in the game.

It was pitching by committee for Sterling with Andrew Mason getting the start, but knocked out early with the hot start of the Eagles. Ryan Speer was first in relief pitching six and two thirds innings and earning the win. Rivera came in for the close and earned the save.

Game 3 – Sterling 9, Avila 8 – 8 innings


Avila worked to set the tone once again in game three by scoring five runs in the third inning. Most of that coming from Avila’s Zach Dillman’s grand slam, his second of the weekend. Avila scored two more in the fourth and put Sterling in a 7-0 deficit. Sterling answered with seven straight. In the fourth, Luis Morales hit the first of his three-run homeruns getting the Warriors on the scoreboard. Sterling scored four more in the fifth to tie the game at seven off of a pair of homeruns, a solo shot by Albert Bisono and another three-run blast by Morales. Avila retook the lead with a run in the sixth and the Warriors were able to tie the game on an RBI single by Dustin Chartrand before Sterling got doubled up on a line drive to right field. Avila mustered just a hit in the eighth inning, before Sterling’s Austin Santiago singled in a run on a base hit to right, redeeming himself from a baserunning error earlier in the game.

Chartrand had a three hit game offensively and earned the win pitching the final two and two thirds innings for Sterling. Morales took advantage of his two hits knocking in six runs for Sterling. Santiago also had a two hit day, none more important than the walkoff in extra innings. David Lira got the start and gave up the majority of the Avila’s runs in his three innings of work. With limited work in game 2, Mason was the first pitcher out of the bullpen and threw an additional two innings, giving up two hits and striking out four. Chartand struck out four in his time on the mound.

Sterling is 18-22 this season and improves to 12-17 in the KCAC. They jumped up two places into ninth place in the KCAC standings with the sweep over Avila. They are just one game behind the Eagles in the standings, and, with seven conference games remaining, could possibly jump into the KCAC tournament and claim the sixth and final spot in the postseason tournament. They have three very winnable games against the University of Saint Mary and close out the season with a tough series against McPherson College. If they finish strong in both of those series, they could leapfrog into the elusive sixth seed.

Be sure to check for news and updates on Sterling Warrior Athletics on Facebook (/SCWarriors), Twitter (@SterlingCSports), and Instagram (sterlingcsports), as well as the hashtag #SwordsUp. Watch the Warriors’ live home events on the Sterling College Sports Network.