VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Dave Erickson pitched seven strong innings and the Warrior offense hit two home runs Friday as Waldorf University advanced with an 8-3 win over Dickinson State in the first round of the North Star Athletic Association baseball tournament.
Erickson scattered six hits, struck out six and allowed just one earned run as he cruised through seven innings for Waldorf. Tony Manna and Trevor Bauer each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to close out the victory.
No. 5 seed Waldorf (18-31) advances to a winner's bracket game in Valley City, Saturday at 2 p.m. against top seed Bellevue University.
No. 4 seed Dickinson State (25-26) will play Valley City State in a loser-out game Saturday at 11 a.m. in Valley City.
Waldorf struck first Friday with a big five-run second inning. The Warriors opened the inning with three straight hits, including a double by Jimmy Quirk and an RBI single from Garrett Gillen to plate the game's first run. Mitchell Keeran capped off the big inning with a 2-run home run to left field, putting Waldorf up 5-0.
The Warriors made it 6-0 in the third when Quirk led off the inning with a solo home run, chasing Dickinson State starting pitcher Gabriel Lizarraga.
Lizarraga took the loss after allowing eight hits and six runs in two innings. Jonathan Koessl pitched the final seven innings for Dickinson and gave up just three hits and two runs.
Dylan Skabo's third-inning RBI single for Dickinson put the Blue Hawks on the board. They cut the lead to 6-3 after a sacrifice fly by Ryan Mitchell in the fourth inning. That's as close as they would get and the Warriors added two insurance runs in the ninth inning on a two-run single from Ryan Villarreal.
Waldorf scored its eight runs on 11 hits and committed one error. Dickinson State had three runs on seven hits and committed one error.
Four different Waldorf batters finished with two hits. Mitchell Keeran went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs; Quirk finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI; Michael Keeran and Bruce Mau each added two hits and scored a run.
Dickinson State was led by a pair of hits from Dylan Skabo, who also scored a run. Mitchell scored a run and drove in a run, and five other Blue Hawks had one hit each.