The Vinton-Shellsburg Vikings, ranked third in Class 3A in the most recent Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association/Radio Iowa poll, faced off with Wamac West rival Western Dubuque (ranked 10th in Class 4A) on Thursday, in Epworth. Both games were as close as possible, with the first game going into extra innings, and the second called in the seventh inning due to lightning with the game tied.

VS Coach Jim Struve offered the following summaries:

Game 1

Vikings lose a close game 4-5 in 8 innings to #10 ranked Class 4A Western Dubuque.  Vikings rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the 7th inning and couldn’t hold the lead as WD scored in the bottom of the 8th inning.  Vikings were led by Nathan Struve’s 2 hits, a double and 2 RBI’s.  Wes Edwards and Conner Miracle added a double and an RBI each.  Scott Betterton pitched well and Tanner Davis took the loss in relief.

Game 2
Vikings were tied 10-10 in the top of the 7th inning when the game was called suspended due to lighting.  Vikings were down 2-8 in the 5th inning when they mounted a great comeback scoring 7 runs to take the lead 9-8.  WD scored 1 run in the bottom of the 5th inning to tie the game.  Again, the Vikes took the lead 10-9 scoring a run in the top of the 6th inning, but couldn’t hold the lead as WD also scored in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 10-10 when lighting suspended the game.  Vikings bats came alive as Jared Thompson had 3 hits, Wes Edwards, Nathan Struve, and Conner Miracle each had 2 hits and Edwards and Struve adding a double each.  David Bray pitched 4 1/3 innings and Wes Edwards pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief when the game was suspended.  The game will remain a tie and will only be made up if it has conference championship implications. The Vikings lead the Wamac East with a conference record of 16-3-1. WD leads the Wamac West with a conference record of 16-1.

On Friday, the Vikings traveled to Maquoketa, and won both games.

Coach’s summary:

Game 1

Vikings scored early and often to Win 17-5 in 5 innings at Maquoketa.  Conner Miracle pitched another great game by striking out 7 and walking none to get the Win on the mound.  David Bray, Cole Overton, and Conner Miracle had 2 hits each.  Scott Betterton and Bray led the way with 3 RBI’s each and Tanner Davis, Blake Bohnsack, and Miracle adding 2 RBI’s.  The Edwards’ twins were ball magnets again, as Wes was hit by pitch 4 times and Will was hit twice.

Game 2

Vikings get the sweep as they Won the nightcap 6-0.  Blake Bohnsack was masterful on the mound striking out 9, walking 1 and giving up 5 hits to gain the complete game shutout.  Vikings defense played well, as they turned 2 double plays—Conner Miracle doubled up a runner from center field to 2nd base and Scottie Wirth threw to Tanner Davis to Cole Overton for the beautiful 5-4-3 double play.  Will Edwards and Tanner Davis had 2 hits each, as Davis added a double and 4 RBI’s.  Wes Edwards was hit twice in Game 2— which totaled 6 Hit By Pitches on the night.  Also, Tanner Davis and Nathan Struve executed a perfect double steal of home in the 1st inning.

Vikings are 21-3 on the season and play Williamsburg at Home tonight, Monday, June 26th.
In order to advance to State, the Vikings have to win two district games and a Sub-State game. Although the pairings and game dates and locations have not yet been published, the Vikings know who will be in their district. VS will be in Class 3A, District 11, along with Benton Community (10-17), Grinnell (16-9) and South Tama (4-17). The District 11 winner will play the winner of District 12, which includes Chariton (10-11), Knoxville (18-5), Pella (13-11) and Oskaloosa (18-9).