The baseball team fell to the 14-6 Northwest Jaguars 5-3 in extra innings May 18 in the regional finals, ending its season with a final record of 17-3.
The Vikings were the No. 1 seed in the county heading into the playoffs after a school-best 15-2 regular season record. The team was a heavy favorite to win the region, but fell short against the unseeded Jaguars, who also beat No. 3 Magruder and No. 2 Quince Orchard on their way to the state semifinals.
The game was a grudge match from the beginning, as Whitman tied the game at two after Northwest took the lead early. When the Jaguars scored another run in the fifth inning, the Vikes quickly bounced back and scored again.
It was all Northwest in extra innings, however, as the team scored on a double with two outs later in the inning. This time, the Vikings couldn’t match them.
The Vikings’ 17-3 record was the best season in school history. They were led by captains Michael Flack, Ryan McGill and Josh Biel, who all played outstandingly on both sides of the ball. Flack and McGill, along with pitchers Gabe Steinberg and Michael West, anchored the team defensively, and played a huge role in the team’s success this season. Alex Beckel and Patrick Hisle, both of whom are new to Whitman, were key pieces to the puzzle that put the team in the regional finals for the first time since 2009. Beckel provided solid pitching depth, as did Hisle, who also played fantastic defense at shortstop throughout the season. Sophomore sensation Drew Aherne finished the season batting .415, and will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the team’s future success.
The team has many holes to fill next spring, but the returning crew is strong. Steinberg and Hisle return as starting pitchers after getting valuable experience this year. Third basemen Andrew Castagnetti returns after hitting .356, as does first basemen Dan Duffy and rightfielder Michael Yang. Aherne comes back to start in centerfield and will provide depth and experience to a young lineup.