After a big weekend that included two hard fought victories, the Ripley Vikings have now won three games in a row as they prepare to enter conference play.  On Friday night at Viking Park, the Vikes defeated Sissonville 4-3 and then traveled to Princeton a little over 12 hours later and emerged victorious, 2-1.

The game Friday night against Sissonville was delayed by rain, with the first pitch being pushed back to 7:00pm.  The game was a back and forth battle, with the lead changing five times over the course of the night.  Logan McCoy threw a complete game for the Vikings, allowing three earned runs, four hits and no walks while striking out five.

“Logan McCoy threw a great game for us,” said head coach Shane Casto, “We’ll take a 78 pitch complete game four hitter any day.”  

The Vikes went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first off after Christopher Jordan scored on an error off a hard hit ground ball by Jonny Stepp, and an RBI single by Trevor Tucker.  

The Indians tied the game at 2 in the top of the fourth, but Ripley grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the fifth after stringing together several hits.  Senior second basemen Cody Pittenger ripped an RBI single to put the Vikings up 3-2.  
The lead would hold until the top of the seventh, when Sissonville tied the game on Dominic Walker’s second home run of the night.  McCoy closed out the rest of the inning strong, giving his offense the opportunity to take the game.  After two quick outs, the Vikings took a more patient approach at the plate and it paid off.  Isaac Koontz, Pittenger, and Anthony Jarvis each drew a walk, loading the bases for senior Luke Layhew.  Layhew took advantage, making contact on a flyball to right field that was misplayed by the Sissonville right fielder, allowing Ripley to take the win 4-3.

Although it came late, Casto was happy with his team’s performance and to get a victory.  “Their pitcher (Landis) threw a great game and kept us off balance all night,” Casto said, “We put the ball in play when we needed to and got a win.  We’ll take a W any way we can get one.”

Ripley Hitting – Christopher Jordan 1-4, Cody Pittenger 1-3, RBI, Trevor Tucker, 1-3, RBI, Luke Layhew 1-3, Anthony Jarvis 1-3.

Fresh off their victory Friday night, the Vikings traveled to Princeton for MSAC action against the Tigers.  
Easton Berry got the start for the Vikes, and went six strong innings, allowing only two hits, four walks, one run (unearned), and striking out four.  He took a no hitter into the fifth inning, and it took another inning before the Tigers managed their only run of the game.  Luke Layhew came in for the seventh and slammed the door, earning the save and preserving the Vikings 2-1 victory.

“[This was a] big conference win for us,” said Casto, “Easton kept us in the game, making pitches when he needed to and we made some big defensive plays when we had to. He had the no-no going into the fifth and kept Princeton off balance by mixing his pitches up.”

The Vikings opened the scoring in the top of the first with an RBI single by Jonny Stepp, scoring Christopher Jordan.  The 1-0 lead would hold up until bottom of the sixth, when the Tigers were finally able to get to Berry, scoring on a fielder’s choice.  However, they would get no closer, as the Vikings added another run in the sixth, when Cody Pittenger scored on an error by the Princeton center fielder on Luke Layhew’s fly ball.   The two runs proved to be all the Vikings would need, as Layhew closed the game out in the seventh, winning 2-1.  

Casto was once again very pleased with his team’s effort, especially defensively.  “[Princeton] Coach Wilburn does a great job and always has his players ready,” Casto said, “Our bats have been a little silent the last couple games, but pitching and defense have gotten us these last two wins.”

With the two victories, the Vikings now move to 7-3 on the season.  They return home Tuesday night, facing Cabell Midland at 7:00pm at Viking Park.

RIPLEY HITTING – Jared Bumpus 2-3, Isaac Koontz 1-2, Jonny Step 1-4, RBI, Christopher Jordan 1-2, Easton Berry 1-3