Vikings baseball struggles to find tempo

Steven Evans, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

Since their 9-6 win against Rhodes College on Friday, March 29 the Vikings men’s baseball team has been falling short and is on a four-game losing streak.

In their defeat against Rhodes   sophomore Alex McGill and junior Stephen Gaylor both had four hits apiece; Gaylor went 4-4 with two stolen bases, two RBIs (runs batted in) and two runs and McGill earning two doubles and three RBIs. The Vikings had been losing 5-1 throughout the first four innings and began to rally at the top of the fifth inning with four runs and then four runs earned in the sixth inning.

Freshman Ben Jernigan pitched the win for the Vikings striking out four batters over the course of three innings and only allowing one run.

The pace changed when the Vikings traveled to play Huntingdon last Friday. The final score was 11-0. Both McGill and Jernigan got  hits for the Vikings but did not manage to get a run.

Casey Gray was the starting pitcher for the team and allowed seven runs in three innings before he was pulled.

The Vikings did not improve much in their next game this past Saturday against Huntingdon when they lost with a final score of 9-1.

They had more opportunity to score in this game with Gaylor making it on base three times and managing to steal two bases. However, the team was unable to get him into home. Levi Austin pitched for the Vikings for the first five innings and allowed five runs. He struck out seven batters, which was three better than Huntingdon’s pitcher Gavin Free who only managed to strike out four.

On Sunday the Vikings played against Huntingdon for the third time in the threegame series and fared much better but still lost with a final score of 15-12 with Huntingdon sweeping the Vikings. This third loss has brought the men’s baseball team to a losing record of 13-17. Huntingdon now holds a record of 20-9.

Jernigan and McGill both had three hits throughout the game. Freshman Dusty Tyson and Tyler Blackwell both had two runs with Blackwell hitting seven RBIs.

In the first inning alone, the Huntingdon Hawks made seven runs. It was not until the top of the third inning when the Vikings managed to get their first homerun. Over the course of the next few innings, the Vikings fought to regain the lead and managed to be winning in the top of the seventh inning with a score 11-10. The Hawks retaliated and gained five additional runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Vikings earned one final run in the top of the ninth inning but were unable to close the gap.

Sophomore Emily Balint was not disheartened by the losing streak of the men’s baseball team.

“I’ve seen the team perform well before,” Balint said. “They just cannot let the losses get to them and go out and work hard. Or maybe they should start tackling people again.”

In their most recent game on Tuesday the Vikings lost to Emory University with a final score of 11-6.

Jernigan and Gaylor continued their hitting streak with both of them managing two hits. Gaylor had one run and one stolen base.

Emory gained two runs in the first inning and six runs in the top of the second inning.

The Vikings were unable to score until the bottom of the seventh inning when they rallied in five runs and closed the gap in the score significantly. They could not gain the lead and only managed to earn one more run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Vikings will play their next game against Centre on Saturday, April 13 with one game starting at 1 p.m. and the second at 4 p.m.

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