by Marty Zier
The Vikings’ baseball entered the postseason swinging hard and connecting with bi-district wins against Crosspoint, and Friday Harbor, securing a state playoff game this weekend.
Head coach James Segault was unconcerned that he knew little about the Crosspoint Warriors, the #1 seed from district 2, in the first game on May 8.
“They looked like a good Seattle team, they could swing the bat, but I knew the Orcas team we were bringing,” he said. “We have five seniors who are carrying this fantastic squad of guys. Our top four guys are hitting .712 this year. We are a tough team to pitch against. We had a strong, even performance against Crosspoint, winning 7-2, scoring two runs in the first, one in the third, two in the fifth and two in the sixth. Hayden Simpson was a star. He pitched a dominant game, allowing only six hits, two walks and one earned run. He was (6-0) pitching in league and one tough guy to score against. Vanya Bullock, who is hitting an unreal .764, had a great game with two walks and a triple while Matthew Mullan had three doubles and a walk. Garrett Ballanger had two sacrifice hits, scoring two runs, and he’s another strong hitter, pounding .433 over the season.”
In the second district playoff game against the Wolverines (the #1 seed from district 1) on May 12, Segault knew his next opponent well, having faced Friday Harbor multiple times during the season and landing only one win, but handing the Wolverines their only league loss.
“We hit first and scored in the top of the first inning, which set the tone of our aggressiveness that led to our 8-3 win,” he said. “Friday Harbor came back and tied it 2-2 in the bottom of the third, but we answered and scored three runs in the top fourth and two more in the sixth. Simpson pitched over six innings and was a star again with six strikeouts, one walk and only one earned run. Kellen Maier, our catcher and the best one in the league, has been holding it down all year. He was on fire with three runs batted in and three stolen bases that were key to advancing guys to score.”
The win knocked Friday Harbor out of the playoffs while the Vikings focus on an away game against the Mountaineers from Rainer High School, at W.F. West High School on May 19 in Rainer for the first game in the state playoffs.
The Lady Vikings’ softball team play the La Conner Braves this May 19 at the district playoffs. A win will advance them to the state championships.
Orcas golf divvies up this week with boys and girls heading in different directions for the state qualifying matches, according to coach Bob Nutt.
“Lady Vikings Maia and Zoe Lewis-Shunk are traveling to North Bellingham Golf Course this week for the women’s district playoffs, hoping to advance to state while Leif Gustafson and Serei O’Toole have the men’s district playoffs later in the week at the Gallery Golf Course on Whidbey Island,” he said. “If any of the four golfers make it to the state championship, we will leave Sunday for Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane. Round 1 elimination is May 22 with the final round is May 23.”