Connor Miracle scores on a suicide squeeze bunt play during the VS sweep at Benton.

It’s doing a lot of little things right that make the difference, Coach Jim Struve said to his team after they defeated Benton Community 6-1, and 5-1 Monday in Van Horne.

Improving their season record to 19-2, the Vikings won twice with strong pitching. Scott Wirth held the Bobcats to five hits, striking out seven Bobcats, and giving up no earned runs to pitch a complete game to start the double-header. Nate Struve was as successful in the nightcap, giving up no earned runs and allowing just two hits while striking out five in a complete-game victory.

The Vikings also used smart, aggressive base running to score, including a suicide squeeze in which Connor Miracle raced home as the pitcher threw the ball and David Bray bunted successfully to allow Miracle to score. Will Edwards, who began game two by getting beaned in the back, stole 5 bases on the night; the team ended up with 11 stolen bases over both games. The Vikings have 78 steals on the season, ranking them third among Class 3A teams. The Vikings are also in first place in the WaMaC West, and lead the conference in most offensive statistical categories.

Coach Jim Struve added these summaries:

Game 1 vs. Benton

Vikings beat Benton 6-1 in Game 1.  Vikings scored 4 runs in the 3rd inning off Wes Edwards RBI double and Tanner Davis’ 3 RBI Triple to open the game up and give the Vikes some breathing room.  Scottie With pitched a complete game 5 hitter with 7 strikeouts and no earned runs.  Vikings defense was fantastic, as they turned 2 double plays to stay out of any big innings.

Game 2 vs. Benton
Vikings Win 5-1 and Sweep Benton for the doubleheader.  Vikings got another good pitching performance from Nathan Struve, as he took a No-Hitter into the 6th inning and only allowed 2 hits and no earned runs.  The Viking defense was solid again highlighting a superb diving catch by center fielder Conner Miracle and a great relay throw from Tanner Davis to Scottie Wirth to gun down a runner trying to advance to 3rd base.  Will Edwards led the Viking offense with 2 hits and 4 stolen bases, as the Vikes used their team speed to collect 8 stolen bases in the game.

Vikings are 19-2 on the season and travel to Hudson on Wednesday for a Non-Conference game.

See the VS schedule/stat page HERE.

See more photos HERE.