Viking baseball battles on

by Jefferson Freeman

Orcas High School Student

The last two weeks have seen a lot of Viking baseball. They have played four games over that stretch and stayed level at 2- 2.

On March 29, the Vikings played host to the La Conner Braves, and that game would end up being a battle. Despite the Vikings only scoring in three innings they were able to get a 5-3 victory behind a 3 RBI day from Jefferson Freeman. The Vikings pitching and defense all made their presence felt in holding the Braves to just three runs in the victory.

A trip to La Conner had the Vikings battling the MVC Hurricanes but a win was not in the cards that day as they were sent home 14-4 on a day where nothing seemed to go their way. It’s a long season and a rematch will look much different when it happens. The next week of action saw Coupeville in town. Joe Stephens got the start for the Vikings but it was a long day for everybody in an Orcas uniform as Coupeville took the matchup 16-4. There were a few offensive bright spots including Diego Lago accounting for 2 of the Vikings’ 4 runs with 3 stolen bases.

Saturday, April 9 meant a rematch for the Vikings against a 4A school out of Everett: the Mariner High School Marauders. Mariner had beaten the Vikings in their first matchup in Everett but things went very different today. TJ Liblik took the hill for the Vikings and struck out the first man to start off a 1,2,3 inning. The Vikings took immediate advantage as a Diego Lago 2-out walk was followed by a double, out of Stephens to take a lead. Stephens crossed before the final out to get a 2-0 lead. The Marauders got 1 in the second but the Vikings got 3, making it 5-1 after 2.

Liblik and company kept the Marauders off the board yet again after a bases-loaded jam turned into a double play. The Viking bats picked up right where they left off as 4 more runs crossed including 3 knocked in on yet another double from Stephens. It was 7-1 just 3 innings in. Mariner found some life as be bottom of the order got across for 3 runs as Lilblik ended his day on the mound early enough to make sure he can throw on Tuesday. Liblik ended his start with 4 strikeouts over four innings.

Mariner carried a little momentum through the fourth as the retired the back of the order in a 1,2,3 fashion. Stephens came in to face the three, four, and five hitters; the heart of the order. Swinging, swinging, looking. You could have gotten a hot dog in the time it took Stephens to strike out the three best hitters Mariner had to offer. The fifth inning had the Vikings back where they wanted to be as they added 2 more runs including Lago’s fourth of the day on his fourth plate appearance to make it 11-4. Stephens took care of business in the sixth allowing no extra runs. Orcas added one more run just for good measure to make the lead 12-4.

Stephens faced four more getting two outs before his pitch count forced him to exit the game before the last out. Stephens finished with 6 strikeouts over 2 and ⅔ innings allowing 0 runs. Stephens’ exit meant Lago got to add to his day by striking out the only batter he faced to end the game. The Vikings exacted their revenge and got a big win heading into a battle with rival Friday Harbor on Tuesday, April 12.