RIPLEY – The 2013 season has been one of strides for the Ripley High baseball team. The squad began the season with a youthful roster high on enthusiasm but short on experience.

As the regular season winds down, the Vikings of Coach Shane Casto have posted their eighth victory with a 12-3 bashing of Class AA No. 1 Herbert Hoover (21-3) on Thursday night at Ray Swisher Field at Viking Park.

"Hoover is a talented squad. We really needed this win. We needed to establish some confidence and get refocused," said Casto.

Ripley's Isaac Koontz took the hill on this night and surrendered three earned runs in the first two frames but that was all the Huskies would muster against Ripley's flamethrower on this evening as Koontz closed the door with five scoreless innings in the contest.

The Huskies carried over a disappointing loss to Point Pleasant on the previous evening,also contributing to their inevitable loss of their perch at the top of the Class AA West Virginia rankings.

For Ripley, they got all they would need in the second inning as they blasted Hoover for seven runs.

It all started when Isaac Koontz reached on an error. Nathan Tucker later brought him home with a sharp single to center. After walking, Cody Pittenger advanced to third on the play and scored on a pop out from Luke Layhew.

Easton Berry brought Tucker home with a daisy cutter just past the glove of the Husky shortstop. Trevor Tucker singled to center and Berry advanced to second. Christopher Jordan then walked to juice the bases.

Tyler Pittenger then singled to left center to plate Berry and the runners advanced. Trevor tucker then scored when Jonny Stepp reached on an error. Christopher jordan's keen base running allowed him to score on the play as he caught the Huskies asleep and made them pay.

Cody Pittenger then walked, allowing his elder brother Tyler Pittenger to cross the plate.

The inning gave Koontz all of the run support he would need as Ripley jumped out to a7-3 advantage.

In the fourth, Trevor Tucker scored on an RBI hit from Jordan.

In the sixth, Trevor Tucker was plated again when Jonny Stepp notched two RBIs as he also plated Cody Pittenger.

Koontz went the distance to earn the win while giving up seven hits, three walks and striking out three Huskies along the way. It is worthy of noting that Koontz kept Hoover's Corey Bird off the base paths. Bird, one of Class AA's finest players was held in check with a 1-for-3 performance that produced a run. Bird also walked in the contest.

The Vikings hit barrage was led by Tyler Pittenger's four hit day. He scored twice while driving in a run, Christopher Jordan went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Trevor Tucker notched two hits and scored three times, Jonny Stepp had a hit and three RBIs, Nathan Tucker and Easton Berry each had a hit, a run and an RBI, Cody Pittenger scored a run and notched an RBI and Isaac Vidrine and Isaac Koontz scored for Ripley.

Ripley takes on cross county rival Ravenswood tonight at Wright Field in Ravenswood.