Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Warriors Show Grit in Series Loss to Dakota State


Sterling, Kan. ( – Warrior baseball played a four-game series with Dakota State University over the weekend, and these two teams proved to be very evenly matched. Games one and two were separted by just one run and game four came down to the final inning to determine a winner. Sterling eventually lost three of the four games, but not before proving what they can do against a good pitching staff.

Game 1 – Sterling 3, DSU 2


The first game of the series featured an incredible pitcher’s dual. Both starters lead their respective teams in strikeouts and neither starter disappointed the fans as the two combined for 18 strikeouts in the game. David Lira for the Warriors was on the mound against Sam Tyrpa.

Andrew Dutro and Albert Bisono were the two Warriors with 2 hits in the game and none were bigger than those that came off the bat of Dutro. In the bottom of the first inning, Dutro hit a two-out, solo homerun to right field, and that was the only blemish against Tyrpa for several innings. In the fifth innings, Dutro struck again. He hit a two-run double down the left field line that scored Tyler Gates and Dustin Chartrand. Sterling had a 3-0 lead late in the game.

Sterling pulled Lira before the seventh inning with his pitch count rising. Chartrand came in in relief and gave up two runs on four hits to make things interesting. Sterling got out of the jam and got the win.

Lira pitched six innings, allowing five hits, and striking out batters, but did not allow any runs to score. Lira got the win and Chartrand got the save.

Dutro, Bisono, and Luis Morales each had doubles for Sterling.

Game 2 – Sterling 4, DSU 5


The Warriors got on the board with a Nate Heffline solo shot in the second inning. The Trojans scored three unanswered before Eduardo Tarafa scored on a wild pitch. Sterling trailed by 3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning and the ball was bouncing their way. They scored two runs and had the bases loaded with one out before Morales came up and grounded into a double play, closing out the inning. Sterling did not get another chance in the bottom of the seventh and ended with a 5-4 loss.

Trent Canaan got the start and took the loss. He pitched four and two-thirds innings giving up 5 runs on seven hits while striking out two batters. Tyler Duffey came in for him for the last out in the fifth. Duffey pitched seven outs, gave up no hits, and struck out three batters. Heffline knocked in the only two RBIs for Sterling. Tarafa had a pair of doubles in the game.

Game 3 – Sterling 8, DSU 12


The Warriors played catch-up for most of the third game of the series. They were on the verge of a run-rule finish trailing 11-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning before scoring four runs and giving themselves hope. The deficit was too much as Dakota State closed the game out with a 12-8 win.

Cipriano Rivera was Sterling’s starter and pitched just two innings before being hit out of the game. He gave up eight runs on six hits and took the loss. Duffey came in and pitched another two and a third innings giving up three additional runs on six hits. Closing things out for the Sterling was Aaron Elsasser pitching two and two-thirds innings, giving up one run on two hits.

Morales was the only player with more than one hit for Sterling. Knocking in two RBIs each were Morales, Dutro, Bisono, and Nick Keller.

Game 4 – Sterling 8, DSU 12


The Warriors looked to even the series against a tough pitching staff Saturday afternoon. It was a much better-hitting performance by the Warriors as they outhit DSU 15-12. Sterling trailed early but fought their way back and took an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth. DSU had an answer to Sterling’s three-run sixth by scoring six runs of their own, taking a 12-8 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Sterling could not muster any runs in the seventh finalizing the game at 12-8.

Morales and Keller each had four hits which included two doubles from Keller and one from Morales. Tarafa hit a three-run, go-ahead homerun in the sixth inning, his first homerun of the season. He also hit a two-run double in the first and knocked in five of the Warriors’ eight runs.

Andrew Mason was on the mound for the Warriors and worked through a rocky start. He was eligible for the win after Tarafa’s homerun gave Sterling the lead. He pitched six innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, and struck out three. Ryan Speer came on in the seventh and gave up the additional five runs and took the loss.

Sterling is now 10-7 this season and will jump right back into conference play as they take on the Ottawa Braves Friday and Saturday in Ottawa. The Braves are 10-10 this season and 4-5 in the KCAC. First pitch is at 2 on Friday and noon on Saturday.

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.