by Jefferson Freeman
Orcas High School
The Orcas Vikings had two of their biggest games of the year in just three days.
On May 2, they hosted the Darrington Loggers. A win in that one and the right result from the Sea-Tac league would mean the Vikings would have the opportunity to play a game on Orcas Island. The Loggers, however, were no easy opponent. But this time, the Vikings took control early and never looked back. Finally getting the big win they were looking for, the Vikings won 11-1, and clinched home-field advantage for the first round of districts.
After securing a big win against the Loggers, and a home game in districts, the Vikings turned to Mount Vernon Christian. The Hurricanes were on pace to become league champions and the Vikings would have to beat them if they wanted to take home a trophy this season. Eddie Cunningham got the start for Orcas and would pitch well, giving up just four runs. However, the Viking bats would be almost nonexistent as the only run was a seventh-inning consolation in an 8-1 loss.
The playoffs started on Orcas Island with the Vikings hosting the Quilcene Rangers. Earlier in the season the Vikings won this matchup by a score of 12-1 in Quilcene. Joe Stephens got the start and dominated the three innings he threw. In fact, Stephens was perfect throughout the three; he pitched and struck out 6 batters. The Vikings went quietly through the order the first time, but in the third inning got things rolling. Twelve runs would score as the Vikings got around the order twice. The final score would end up as 13-0 for the Vikings, and a dominant win to move on into the district semifinals, where they will face the same opponent as last season in the Crosspoint Warriors.
Taking the trip to Bremerton, the Vikings were looking for revenge for last season’s defeat to a Crosspoint team that would end up being one of the best in the state. Despite losing a ton of senior production, Crosspoint managed to take back the league title and would host the Vikings once more. Stephens would get the start in the biggest game of the season. The first inning wouldn’t score a run but showed off the Vikings’ offensive capabilities as they stranded runners in scoring position. Stephens retired three in a row. Then Moose Kinsey finally broke the tie as Andrew Ross’s pickle. Crosspoint would get a walk, then see three straight strikeouts. The third inning was dead for both teams. But in the fourth Jefferson Freeman knocked in two. Things would keep up like that as Stephens continued to dominate, and the Vikings tacked on the seven runs they needed for a 10-0 run-rule victory.
The Vikings were set to play for the district championship. And they would face the familiar foe of the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes. This was the fourth meeting between the two teams in the season. Eddie Cunnigham was the guy the Vikings brought in to pitch. Facing the Hurricanes for the third time this season Cunningham had his work cut out. The Hurricanes managed one run early but the Vikings got it back in the top of the third, tying the game and giving them a huge sense of opportunity. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t last long as a string of hits, misplayed balls, and good base running from MVC unraveled the Vikings. The game ballooned up to 8-1 Hurricanes and wasn’t the same from then. Matthew Eggenberg got two Rbi’s late but it would only be a consolation as the Vikings lost 8-3.
The Vikings did enough to qualify for the state tournament as the 10th seed. They will play the Mossyrock Vikings on May 20. If they win, they get a matchup with second-ranked Liberty Christian for a chance to go to the final four.