RIPLEY – It was an overcast night with a cool breeze and a brief shower. On this evening at Ray Swisher Field at Viking Park Monday night, the Viking baseball team suffered a 15-5 loss to Saint Albans.
In the first inning, the Vikings (4-9) struck early when Tyler Pittenger singled home Christopher Jordan and then two pitches later stole second base. After advancing, "Pitt" took a large lead off of third that drew a wild throw from the Red Dragon catcher and the Viking slugger trotted home with a quick run.
Freshman hurler Jared Bumpus was on the hill for Ripley on this night. He cruised the first inning and ran into trouble in the second when two daisy cutters barely missed the diving gloves of Viking infielders.
With the Vikings down 5-2 in the third, Freshman Luke Layhew entered the game and inherited two base runners with one out. Layhew induced a high pop up and an easy out from the first batter he faced but a flare off of the bat of the Red Dragons' Andrew Mathews plated two runners in the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Freshman Cody Pittenger drove home his older brother with a sharp single to right center.
The wheels came off of the blue and white wagon after the third and they fell 15-5 in a mercy rule shortened contest.
On a positive note, Trevor Tucker returned to the Field for Ripley after knee surgery that shortened his football season last fall. Tucker looked sharp in centerfield tracking down fly balls with his natural speed and he singled in his first at bat. Ripley fans are happy to see the multi-talented Viking back on the field again. Dalton Wentz and Tyler Pittenger each notched two hits in the game to lead Ripley. Clark Bryant gave up five hits over five innings to pitch the Red Dragons to victory.
This evening, Ripley will travel to take on the No. 5 ranked Highlanders of Huntington before hosting the Logan Wildcats tomorrow night.