Baseball Vikings are Trending Upward
By Jeff Whitener for Live Stream STL Media
After climbing above the .500 mark in March, The Jefferson College baseball team continued their recent successes, winning 4 of 5 games, and building a 19-15 overall record.
The Vikings traveled to St. Charles Community College on April 1st, but the Cougars proved they weren’t fooling around in game 1. While Jeffco pitchers only gave up 7 hits, the Vikings committed 5 errors and were outscored 16-9 in the game. Only 4 of the Cougar runs were earned. There were bright spots for the Vikings, however. In addition to good pitching, the boys from the ‘Boro hit 3 home runs, including a 3-run shot off the bat of Josh Gibson. Matt Albritton smacked 2 round-trippers in the game.
The Vikings pounded out 11 hits, including 3 from Joe Hamilton and 2 apiece from Bryce Miller and Matt Albritton. Gibson and Albritton also tallied 3 RBI apiece. Alex Logusch was the bad luck pitcher of record, taking the loss after only giving up 2 hits and 2 earned runs over 3 2/3rds innings.
Game 2 was the complete opposite of game 1. The Vikings edged St. Charles 3-2 in a pitcher’s duel. Tanner Perry was on the bump for Jefferson and pitched 5 strong innings. The O’Fallon, Missouri native allowed 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 7 and walking 6 batters. Joe Hamilton continued his big day at the plate, going 4-for-5 to lead Jefferson in hits. Hamilton scored the Viking’s 1st run after doubling in the 3rd. He came around and touched home after Josh Gibson hit a double of his own. Jeffco would get 2 more runs in the top of the 6th. Jordan Duncan was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He advanced to 2nd when Bryce Miller was also hit by a pitch. Hesston Gray came up next and bunted for a single. Both Duncan and Miller scored on the throw to 1st and the Vikings were up 3-0. St. Charles got a single run back in the bottom half of the inning. After 7 complete innings, the game was suspended, with the final 2 innings to be played the next day in Hillsboro prior to the scheduled doubleheader. On Saturday, Hesston Gray took over pitching duties and promptly gave up a leadoff home run to make the score 3-2. The Cougars threatened to tie the game in the 9th after the first 2 batters reached base. A fly-out for the 1st out put runners at the corners. The next batter hit a ground ball to 1st baseman Matt Schark, who stepped on the bag for the force out, then threw home to nail the runner at the plate. The big play ended the game and energized the Vikings to start the doubleheader.
In game 1 Vikings starter Jordan Duncan gave up a single run in the 1st inning on a double and a single. In their half of the frame, Jeffco would get it back and then some. Josh Gibson led off with a double and the next batter, Peyton Howard singled him home. With 1 out, Bryce Miller and Matt Albritton were hit by pitches to load the bases. Hesston Gray batted next and worked a walk, scoring Payton Howard and giving Jefferson a 2-1 lead. Jefferson tallied a single run in the 3rd after a leadoff hit by Trevor Quick. A walk to Josh Gibson and a hit-by-pitch to Matt Schark loaded the bases. Matt Albritton then reached on an error, scoring Quick, but Gibson was thrown out at the plate. The Cougars got a run back in the 4th on a solo home run to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Vikings. In their half of the 4th, Jeffco raised the stakes. Trevor Quick and Josh Gibson both reached base on errors. Joe Hamilton then drew a 1 out walk to load the bases. To the plate came Matt Schark and he delivered a base hit, scoring Quick and Gibson. Albritton walked next and once again the sacks were jammed with Vikings. Hesston Gray then reached base on an error, scoring Hamilton and advancing everyone else 90 feet. It was Jack Matousek’s turn and he smacked a double to center, clearing the bases. When the dust had settled, the Vikings were in possession of a 9-2 lead. Duncan retired the Cougars in order in the 5th. The Vikings kept rolling in the bottom of the frame. After Joe Hamilton was hit by a pitch, Matt Schark deposited a baseball high over the left-field fence for a 2-run homer. Two more walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Jack Matousek. Matousek singled, giving the Vikings a 12-2 lead and ending the game on the mercy rule.
Gibson, Schark, and Matousek all had 2 hits to lead Jefferson. Schark and Matousek also collected 4 RBI apiece. Jordan Duncan went all 5 innings on the mound. He scattered 4 hits, giving up 2 runs while striking out 6 and walking 2.
On Monday, the Vikings played a single, 9-inning game at home against the Webster University JV team. Dalen Stewart got the start and was sharp, pitching 5 innings of 1-run, 1-hit baseball. Jefferson got on the board in the 2nd inning. Michael Paule singled home Boone Shevey, who had also notched a base hit. Paule was brought home on a double by Hesston Gray. The Vikes added a single run in the 4th inning. Chevy led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. Paule singled, putting runners at the corners. Colby Ott then lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Shevey. When it was Jefferson’s turn to bat in the 5th, they would break the game wide open. Matt Schark led off the inning with a solo homer. After the next 2 batters made outs, Ryker Harrington earned a walk. Next came Boone Shevey and he doubled, putting 2 Vikings aboard. Michael Paule once again singled, bringing home Harrington and Shevey. Colby Ott followed Paule with his own base hit, bringing home Paule and giving Jefferson a 7-1 lead. The Vikings added a single run in the 6th on consecutive doubles by Jayden Gegg and Matt Albritton. Two more runs came across in the 8th, courtesy of hits by Colby Ott, Jayden Gegg, and a passed ball that scored Michael Paule. The scene shifted to the 8th inning with Jefferson needing 1 additional run to enact the mercy rule and end the game. A double by Trevor Quick and 2 walks loaded the bases with 2 outs. Colby Ott was the next batter and he walked it off for the Vikings by getting hit by a pitch.
Jefferson pounded out 14 hits in the game. Paule, Boone Shevey, Ott, Jayden Gegg, and Matthew Albritton each collected multiple hits for the Vikings. Paule went 3 for 4 at the plate to lead the team in hits in hits. Ott collected a game-high 3 RBI. Tony Caldwell and Drew Glueck entered the game out of the bullpen for Jefferson and helped to close out the game in relief.
Jefferson won 4 of 5 games during the stretch to improve to 19-15 on the season. The team is back in action at home this Saturday, April 9th for a doubleheader vs State Fair Community College. The first pitch is slated for 1 pm.
Come out and support your Vikings baseball team!