St. Albans won the Class AAA state baseball championship last year in Charleston at Appalachian Power Park.

St. Albans won the Class AAA state baseball championship last year in Charleston at Appalachian Power Park.

 The Red Dragons of head coach Rick Whitman returned several key players from that team in 2018.

  The Dragons showed they are a likely contender for another title this season  on Thursdaynight at Viking Park by shutting out Ripley, 9-0.

 The Dragons got the lead in the top of the first and never looked back. SA added four in the top of the third and two more in each of the fifth and seventh innings.

 St. Albans outhit Ripley, 11-4. Each team had one error in the game.

 Tyler Haskins had two of Ripley’s four hits with J.T. Kemp and Gavin Blankenship delivering the other two. Ripley left five baserunners aboard in the game.

 Dane Peterson worked four and two-thirds for the Vikings on the mound. The junior gave up seven runs (all earned) on seven hits. Two of those hits were home runs. Along the way, Peterson struck out four and walked three. 

 Nic Craddock was on the mound for two and one-third innings. Craddock gave up two runs on four hits, struck out two and walked two.

 “We came out really flat,” Viking head coach Shane Casto said. “We didn’t play with much energy.”

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 The Vikings journeyed to the Eastern Panhandle  on Saturday  with games against Washington and Greenbrier East. Ripley defeated Greenbrier East, 3-2, and lost to Washington, 12-0. 

 Both showdowns were staged at Washington High School in Jefferson County.

 “We played well against Greenbrier East but left runners at second the last six innings,” Casto said.

 “In the Washington game we made too many fielding mistakes that led to seven unearned runs. They have 13 seniors and when you have a veteran team you can’t afford to give them extra chances.”