The Ripley Vikings were right where they wanted to be, relatively.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh against the George Washington Patriots, the Vikings scored two runs after back-to-back wild pitches to bring the score to 5-3. After Chris Jordan walked and then advanced to second, the Vikings had the tying run at the plate in the form of junior right fielder Easton Berry.
However, the comeback was not meant to be, as Berry rocketed a liner to center field that was caught and Jordan was doubled off at second to end the game with a 5-3 final score in favor of GW.
After the game, head coach Shane Casto did not mince words about his team’s effort. “We didn’t show up to play,” Casto said, “No one seemed into the game. The dugout was quiet. It seemed like we were at a funeral.”
Up until the spurt in the seventh, the Ripley offense could not get going all night. Amassing only four hits, most of the Vikings’ hard hit balls were right at opposing defenders. To make matter worse for the Vikings, their starter, Logan McCoy, could not find his groove against George Washington batters.
McCoy, one of three sophomore left-handers on the Ripley pitching staff, struggled with his location and the Patriot offense made him pay.
McCoy took the loss for the Vikes, pitching all seven innings, while giving up five runs (three earned), six hits, two walks, and struck out five batters.
The Patriots opened the scoring in the top of the second inning when first baseman Jeff Wong homered to center.
Ripley answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning after Trevor Tucker scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball from Luke Layhew. Tucker singled, and then stole second and third to get into scoring position.
The Patriots answered back in the top of the third, getting two runs from a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, and then added two more runs in the top of the sixth to make the score 5-1.
The Vikings threatened in the bottom of the fourth when Tucker and Layhew both singled, but they could not convert.
They went quietly in the fifth and sixth innings, as well. Once Jordan was doubled off at second, the Vikings’ best chance to finish the comeback went up in smoke, with the final score of 5-3 in favor of the Patriots.
Tucker led the Vikings offensively, going 2-3 with a run scored on the night. Layhew followed by going 1-3 and had the lone Viking RBI, and Berry finished 1-3.
Page 2 of 2 - “We have to be able to drive in runs when we need them,” Casto said, “We left too many guys in scoring position.”
Slumps are certainly a part of the game for any team, but Casto was hoping that if the 10-1 loss against Riverside last Wednesday night wouldn’t serve as a wake up call, then the GW loss would.
“I thought we were going to get the ship sailing again,” Casto quipped, “But I guess we forgot to pull up the anchors.”
The loss versus GW brought the Vikings’ record to 7-6, and a 13-0 loss to St. Albans on Friday night brought that record to 7-7. The Vikings played in a doubleheader on Saturday at Roane County, where they faced Fairmont Senior in the first game, and then Roane County in the second.
The Vikings’ game against Huntington High School was cancelled on Tuesday night, but they faced Shady Spring last night