Ripley Viking baseball season ends with 11-16 record

Mark Martin

Shane Casto and company were thrilled to be back out on the baseball field after COVID-19 took care of the 2020 season.

They just weren’t happy with how things went at times ... especially in the end.

“Obviously, the coaches and players weren’t pleased with ending our season during the sectional,” Casto said.

Ripley was sidelined in the first phase of the postseason bringing things to a quick finish.

The Vikings closed 2021 with an 11-16 record.

Steps, though, were taken as Ripley tried to bounce back from not having a season at all one year ago.

“Overall, I think this season was a year of growth and overcoming adversity,” he said. “We only had a couple veterans coming back and knew that we would be very inexperienced and young, especially with the 2020 season being cancelled.”

While it was played, Casto said having the 2021 season delayed and the overlap of winter and spring sports made for an uphill battle.

He was pleased with the way his crew handled the situation.

“I thought our guys fought and battled the best they could,” he said. “We saw our guys grow and mature throughout the season and the seniors helped lay the groundwork for the future.”

Those seniors are Gage Songer, Davis Haynes, Andrew Manley, Cameron Patterson, Sammy Carpenter, Kadin Hall and Isaac Casto.

“I really enjoyed the last four years with them,” said the Viking leader, a Ripley HIgh baseball and football Hall of Famer. “It was great to watch them grow into fine young men and get better every year.

“I hate it for them that their careers got cut short a season due to COVID. I feel like it hindered them at times this past year. It was a tough pill to swallow for them and for us as coaches. I look forward to what the future holds for them and hope to see them grow as professionals in whatever field they chose to go into.”

Junior Brett Haskins' .410 batting average was tops on the team. Haskins had three doubles and drove home four runs. He scored 27 times and had an on-base percentage of .549.

Kaleb Swisher, a sophomore, was next in line, hitting .341 and driving home 18 runs.

Songer hit .333 with five doubles and a triple. He scored 25 times and plated 17 other base runners.

Manley had a home run and seven runs batted in while hitting .294. Colton Pepper, a junior, finished with a .286 batting average, drilling three doubles and driving home three.

Sophomore Isaiah Casto produced a .284 average with a double while bring home 10 runners across the plate. Freshman Gatlin Donohew hit .273 with two runs batted in.

Freshman Cade Goode drove home 12 runs with three doubles. He ended the season with a .259 batting average. Parsons hit .233 while driving home eight. He had one double on the year.

Haynes and Patterson each had a home run this season. Haynes finished with a .224 batting average. He had two doubles and eight runs batted in. Patterson drove home 12 runs with two doubles. His ended the year with a .220 batting average.

Hall drove home 10 runs and finished with a .220 batting average. Alec Vance, a sophomore, had a .213 average with two doubles and three RBI.

Haynes struck out 56 batters in 42.1 innings of work. He had a record of 3-5 with a 3.63 ERA.

Manley worked 40.1 innings and ended with a 4-5 mark on the mound with 46 strike outs and a 2.77 ERA.

Patterson had 24 Ks with a 4.63 ERA.

Donohew and Songer each had 13 strike outs in 13.1 and 12.1 innings of work, respectively.

Goode struck out nine batters in nine innings. Haskins had seven strike outs in 11 innings of the hill.

Hall, Swisher, Carpenter, Will Haynes, a freshman, and Hunter Brown, another freshman, also had work on the mound this season for Ripley.

Sophomore Ty Stephens and freshmen Mason Fluty, Mathen Kelley and Don Thacker also saw action this season for the Vikings.

“I’m very excited with what the future holds for Ripley baseball and can’t wait to get back to work in preparation for next spring,” Casto said.