STERLING — Nate Anderson kicked off the 2023 baseball season in a big way Monday as Sterling pounded Geronimo 13-0 in a shortened run-rule matchup that also featured a perfect game on the mound.
Anderson, a senior, collected five RBIs on an inside the park homer and a triple in three trips to the plate. Anderson hit the triple in the second inning to knock in one run and slammed the bases-loaded home run in the third inning. The third-inning hit ricocheted off the outfield wall giving the speedy Anderson time to sprint home.
Anderson has committed to playing collegiate baseball at Redlands Community College in El Reno next season.
Meanwhile, pitchers Riley Lile and Gardner combined for a perfect game facing the minimum nine batters during the three-inning matchup. Lile pitched two innings and threw only 22 pitches – 17 strikes – to the six batters he faced. Gardner hurled the final inning and struck out two of the three hitters in that frame.
“I think they were behind the count only once in the three innings,” Sterling head coach Jayson Wilson said.
Sterling started the scoring barrage with five runs in the first inning with two coming off an RBI single by Tukker Hughes. Anderson started the game reaching base on an error, then stole second and third before walking home after Kayden Wilson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Sterling added two runs in the second on Anderson’s run-scoring triple with Max Puccio scoring followed by Clint Moore’s double which brought Anderson home from third.
The Tigers tallied six insurance runs in the third inning off Anderson’s grand slam and a two-run double by Khaiden Gardner.
One hit, 10 runs
Sterling capped its second game in two days with a solid 10-0 win over Snyder, but the way it happened was strange.
The Tigers managed only one hit, but Snyder pitchers walked 10 batters and four errors were committed by Snyder which pushed Sterling to another shortened run-ruled victory.
Sterling tallied five runs in the first inning with Jayden Huitt’s single, a sacrifice bunt, two Snyder errors, two walks and a pass to first on a hit batter. Huitt’s single scored Anderson who walked to open the inning. Later in the inning, Tyler Piece scored on a passed ball to push the score to 2-0.
With Lile at the plate, Huitt scored on another passed ball. Later in the count, Lile laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Kayden Wilson from third and Gardner from second for a 5-0 Tiger lead.
Sterling tallied a single run in the second inning and added four more in the fourth to seal the win. The Tigers collected eight stolen bases, including three from Anderson and two by Huitt.
Huitt started on the mound for the Tigers pitching 2 2/3 innings while giving up two hits and striking out five. Gardner hurled the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up two hits.
Sterling is hosting its own tournament March 9-11 and will compete in the Wright City Festival March 15-17. The Tigers return home March 20 to host Calumet in a 4:30 p.m. matchup