Viking Baseball Team Splits and Sweeps:
By: Jeff Whitener for Live Stream STL Media
The Jefferson College baseball team had a successful week of play, winning 3 of 4 games to inch their season record over the .500 mark.
On Saturday, The Vikings hosted conference foe Metropolitan Community College after their doubleheader was rained out on Thursday. Jefferson dropped the 1st game 8-7, as a late-inning rally fell just short. The Wolves scored all of their 8 runs, 2 of which were unearned, in the first 2 innings off starter Alex Logusch. The Vikings had a tough day in the field, committing 5 errors in the game. Jefferson began their comeback in the 3rd. Singles by Bryce Miller and Josh Gibson followed by a wild pitch gave the Vikes their first run. Jefferson would tack on 3 more runs in the 5th frame. Colby Ott led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. Josh Gibson was up next, and he lined a single that moved Ott to 3rd base. Ott raced home on a sacrifice fly by Joe Hamilton. With 2 outs, Matt Schark reached on an infield error, scoring Gibson. Consecutive singles from Jordan Duncan and CJ Cepicky plated Schark and the score was now 8-4. The Vikings tacked on 2 more runs in the 6th courtesy of a Hesston Grays home run. In the bottom of the 7th momentum was on Jefferson’s side as the first 3 batters reached base. Josh Gibson hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Matt Albritton from 3rd, and bringing the Vikings to within a run. With 2 on and 2 out, The comeback fell just short as Hesston Gray flew out to left, ending the game.
The Vikings got great work from relief pitcher Jared Hughes, who shut out the Wolves over the final 5 innings, giving up 5 hits while striking out 4 and walking 1 batter. Jefferson College had 11 hits in the game. Bryce Miller, Jordan Duncan, and Josh Gibson each racked up multiple hits for the Vikings. Hesston Gray collected 2 RBI with his home run.
Jefferson pitcher Tanner Perry got the start in game 2 and received plenty of help from the Vikings’ bats. The Boys from the “Boro pounded out 12 hits en route to a 10-2 victory. After a scoreless 1st inning for both teams, the Vikings heated things up in their half of the 2nd. Singles by Matt Schark and CJ Cepicky put 2 runners aboard as Matt Albritton strode to the plate. He deposited the 1st pitch he saw over the fence for a 3-run homer. Colby Ott then coaxed a 2-out walk and promptly stole 2nd. Payton Howard smacked a double, scoring Ott. Josh Gibson followed with a single, scoring Howard. Next up was Hesston Gray and he doubled, sending Gibson to 3rd. The Vikings had batted around, and Matt Schark collected his 2nd hit of the inning, a single scoring Gibson and Gray making the score 7-0. Metropolitan got single tallies in the 3rd and 5th innings. In the bottom of the 5th, Jordan Duncan clubbed a 3-2 pitch high over the right-field fence for his 2nd home run of the season. In the bottom of the 8th, Matt Albritton doubled home CJ Cepicky, who had led off the inning with a base hit. A Bryce Miller sacrifice fly scored Albritton, and the game ended with a final score of 10-2.
Jefferson College racked up 12 hits in the game. Cepicky, Schark, and Albritton all collected multiple hits. Cepicky went 4 for 4 at the plate to lead the Vikings in hits. After a shaky 1st game, Jefferson College didn't commit a single error in the field in game 2. Tanner Perry earned the win, allowing 4 hits and 1 run over 4 innings, striking out 5 and walking no one. Luke Nichols, Jacob Jarvis, and Ethan Schmitt all put in work in relief out of the bullpen.
The Vikings traveled to Union, Missouri to face East Central College on Sunday. They brought plenty of lumber with them as they defeated the Falcons in game 1 by a score of 13-5. After East Central collected a single run in the 1st and 2nd innings, Jefferson went to work. After Payton Howard reached base on a Fielder’s Choice, Josh Gibson doubled him home for Jefferson’s 1st score. With 2 outs, Matt Schark singled home Josh Gibson and the game was tied. Jordan Duncan worked a walk, putting 2 on for CJ Cepicky. Cepicky roped a double, scoring Schark and Duncan. Matt Albritton singled, scoring Cepicky, and the Vikings plated 5 runs in the inning to take the lead. East Central got 2 runs back in their half of the 3rd. Jefferson went right back to work in the 4th. The Vikings scored twice on a hit, intentional walk, and 2 errors, but the Falcons would score again in the bottom half of the inning, making the score 7-5. A 2-run deficit was as close as they would get. Hesston Gray singled in the 5th and would score from second on an errant pickoff attempt. Josh Gibson led off the 6th with a solo home run. A walk, a single, and a hit batman filled the bases with Vikings with 1 out. Matt Albritton knocked a base hit, scoring Matt Schark and Jordan Duncan. Jefferson would plate their final 2 runs of the inning on an error and a sacrifice fly.
Viking batters tallied 12 hits in game 1. Miller, Duncan, Gibson, and Albritton all collected multiple hits. Matt Albritton collected 3 RBI. Pitchers Gavin Dockery, Dalen Stewart, and Kaden Jacobi combined to give up 5 runs on 9 hits, striking out 4 and walking no one.
In game 2, Jefferson grabbed the lead in the 8th inning to defeat East Central 8-7. The Falcons jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 1st inning off Vikings starter Jacob Roettgen. Jefferson trimmed the lead to 2 in the top of the 2nd. Leadoff walks to Jack Matousek and Michael Paule led to a sacrifice fly from freshman Ryker Harrington. Michael Paule scored on a passed ball, making the score 4-2. The Vikings then took the lead with a 4-run 3rd inning. Jordan Duncan singled to lead off the inning, followed by a walk to C.J. Cepicky. Matt Schark singled Duncan home and moved Cepicky to 3rd. Michal Paule notched a 1-out single, scoring Cepicky. Schark came home on a dropped 3rd strike to Harrington. Next, freshman Trevor Quick singled, scoring Paule, and giving Jeffco a 6-4 lead. East Central fought their way back to tie the game in the 6th frame, thanks to some miscues. A dropped 3rd strike, followed by a fielding error, put 2 Falcon runners on base. Two wild pitches followed, making the score 6 apiece. The teams traded single runs in the 6th inning. The game moved on to the top of the 8th when Jefferson’s first 2 batters reached base on walks. A double steal put runners on 2nd and 3rd for C.J. Cepicky. Cepicky lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring Boone Shevey, and making the score 8-7.
Hesston Gray was the pitcher of record for the Vikings and got the win. He lasted 2 two and a third innings, allowing no hits and no runs while striking out 2 and walking 0. Charlie Pratt threw 1 2/3rds innings in relief out of the bullpen. Jordan Duncan went 2 for 4 at the plate to lead Jefferson College in hits.
Jefferson won 3 of 4 games on the week, improving their record to 15-14 overall and 10-6 in the conference. The Vikings are back in action today (Friday) at St. Charles Community College for the first 2 games of a home-and-home series. They will play the Cougars at home on Saturday beginning at noon.
Come out and support your Viking baseball team!