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Dakota State takes final NSAA series from Waldorf

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Matt Oliver

MADISON, South Dakota – Dakota State University swept the Waldorf University baseball team during Sunday’s doubleheader to claim three wins in the four-game North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) series.

The Trojans (20-25, 13-10) pulled away for a 7-1 win in the opener and held on for a 3-1 victory during the nightcap, which marked the regular-season finale for both teams.

Ian Barker guided Dakota State in Game 1, limiting the Warriors (17-31, 13-11) to four hits in a complete-game win. Barker (2-3) notched seven strikeouts, issued two walks and yielded one run in nine innings.

Waldorf was led by junior Ryan Villarreal, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI single. Junior Bruce Mau and sophomore Jacob Tedesco contributed singles.

Jacob Arlt went 3-for-4 with an RBI single for the Trojans. Jordan Hofer produced at the plate, powering to a 2-for-5 performance with a homer, double and three RBIs. Tony Poncia and Jamie Jorgensen added two hits apiece.

Junior Michael Keeran (4-4) was tagged with the loss. He struck out three batters, walked one and allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in six innings.

Junior Dean Mick closed out the final two innings for the Warriors as he recorded a strikeout and gave up two unearned runs on two hits.

Villarreal singled in the top of the second inning to bring home Tedesco for Waldorf’s lone run.

Dakota State tied the game following a third-inning RBI single from Arlt.

In the fourth, Hofer doubled down the right-field line to drive in a run and put the Trojans in front.

Dakota State pushed in three runs during the sixth behind four hits. Dylan Colman ripped an RBI double, and Hofer went deep with a two-run shot to boost the Trojans to a 5-1 lead.

Dakota State added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Shiquing Santana turned in a run-scoring single, and Arlt scored on a throwing error.

Villarreal went 2-for-3 with a double in Game 2. Seniors Ryan McCabe, Elvin Nunez, freshmen Garrett Gillen and Mitchell Keeran finished with singles. Mau provided an RBI sac fly.

Tyler Ratkie paced the Trojans, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Santana went yard with a two-run homer. Barker singled and drove in a run while Poncia contributed a single.

Richard Sternberg (3-4) went the distance to lock up the win. He fanned five batters, walked two and gave up one run on six hits in seven innings.

Freshman Michael Miller (2-1) was handed the loss. He tallied two strikeouts and surrendered three runs (one earned) on five hits in four and one-third innings.

Waldorf senior Trevor Bauer struck out two batters and walked one while holding Dakota State hitless during the final one and two-thirds innings.

Santana put the Trojans on the board with a two-run homer in the fourth.

Barker connected for an RBI sac fly in the fifth to give Dakota State a three-run advantage.

Villarreal singled up the middle to start a one-out rally in the seventh. McCabe followed with a single as sophomore courtesy runner Austin Robbins advanced to second base. Nunez delivered a pinch-hit single to load the bases. Robbins crossed home plate following a sac fly from Mau. Ratkie recorded the game’s final out, snagging a liner to secure the win for the Trojans.

The Warriors return to action in the NSAA Tournament, scheduled for May 6-10 at Valley City, North Dakota and Jamestown, North Dakota, where Waldorf makes it first postseason appearance since 2011. The Warriors’ first-round opponent has not yet been announced.