Baseball Vikings Ready for Postseason Play
By Jeff Whitener for Live Stream STL Media
Photo: CheapSeats Photography
The Jefferson College Vikings baseball team ended the regular season on a high note, taking two games from St. Louis Community College on May 1st and finishing the season with a 28-22 overall record. The victories came at the end of a grueling, 9-game road trip that saw Jeffco go 3-6 against some of the top teams in the nation, Including Dyersburg State, Crowder, and John A Logan.
The Viking’s bats exploded for 27 total runs against the Archers, winning game one 10-9 and game two 17-12. In the 1st game, 4 of Jeffco’s 9 hits came via the long ball. Matthew Albritton, Payton Howard, and Matt Schark all hit home runs, with Schark hitting 2, including the game-winner. The big 1st baseman collected 5 RBI in the game.
In game 2, the Boys from the ‘Boro scored 17 runs on 12 hits in a wild affair in St. Louis. At one point in the game, the Vikings held a 12-5 lead, only to see it evaporate in the 7th inning. With the game tied at 12, Matt Schark smacked a 1-out double to score Payton Howard and Jefferson took back the lead. In the top of the 9th, they added some insurance. Jordan Duncan led off the frame with a walk and was replaced with pinch-runner Jayden Gegg. With 1 out, Colby Ott hit a sharp ground ball that was misplayed by the Archers’ 3rd baseman, putting runners on the corners. With Ott stealing 2nd base, Payton Howard collected his 4th hit of the game, a double plating Gegg, and Ott to make the score 15-12. A couple of walks, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly later, and the Vikings increased the lead to 17-12. Pitcher Alex Logusch held the Archers scoreless over the 2 final frames to help seal the win on the last day of the regular season. Payton Howard and Matt Schark were both 4 for 4 in the game, with Schark hitting another home run. Payton Howard and Jack Matousek both went deep as well, with Matousek hitting a grand slam.
Jefferson had several notable performers this season. Matt Schark finished 4th in the nation with 21 home runs. Matt Albritton was also among the national leaders with 15 round-trippers. Schark was also among the leaders in RBI (66), slugging percentage (.802), total bases (146), and extra-base hits (39). CJ Cepicky finished the season as one of the top fielders in the nation, recording no errors in 48 chances, with 1 assist. As a team, the Vikings were among the national leaders in doubles, home runs, runs scored, total bases, and RBI.
Postseason play begins this weekend and Jefferson is hosting one of the Sub-Regional playoffs. The Vikings will play a best-of-three series against Region & Conference rival Three Rivers. The Raiders enter the matchup with a 25-28 overall record. Jefferson swept the season series, winning all 4 games. Game 1 is scheduled for Saturday (7th) with the 1st pitch at noon. Game 2 will also start at noon on Sunday (8th), with the 3rd game to follow if needed. The winner of the Sub-Regional will advance to the Region 16 Tournament held in Joplin, Missouri from Thursday, May 12th through Saturday, the 14th.
Come on out this weekend to see the sophomores play their final games at home and cheer on your Vikings!