The baseball team beat the 9-13 Gaithersburg Trojans 8-6 in its first playoff game May 16, improving its record to 16-2.
Ryan McGill pitched the first four innings for the Vikes, smoothly striking out four batters during his time on the mound. The team led 3-0 at the top of the third inning. Drew Aherne singled with a grounder to left field, and then stole second and third off of uneven pitching. Andrew Castagnetti singled to bring Aherne home, and then Max Sessions, in one of his first varsity games, smacked a double that batted in Castagnetti. Sam Avayou slid into home after a passed ball to finish up the inning up 6-0.
The game looked to be an easy win for the Vikes until the seventh inning, when Trojan offense resurged to challenge the Vikes’ lead. Michael West pitched for the Vikes at the top of the inning and walked several players. With runners on base, Castagnetti made a fielding error that allowed the Trojans to score their second point of the game, bring it up to 8-2. Patrick Hisle came up to the mound to pitch for the Vikes and, with the bases loaded, a Trojan batter smacked the ball out of the park in a rare grand slam, scoring four runs and bringing the score to 8-6. The Trojans’ last-minute comeback was completely unexpected, Hisle said.
“We walked too many guys,” he said. “Once they hit the grand slam, it flashed in my mind that they could win. It was pretty shocking.”
Michael Flack came in to finish pitching for the Vikes and quickly ended the game, securing the Vikes’ win with a final score of 8-6. Next the team takes on the 14-6 B-CC Barons May 17 at home. With a 1-1 record against the Barons in the regular season, the Vikes are going to focus their efforts on the road to states, Aherne said.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” he said. “We can’t get ahead of ourselves.”