After surrendering two runs in the top half of the first inning, it looked like another uphill battle would be in store for Villains baseball. But, a long two run double by Stuart Spiers in the bottom of the inning sparked a six run burst that gave the Villains a lead they'd never relinquish.
Villains ace Matt Neidert would surrender just one hit over the final four innings as the Villains swept the season series from the Vikings with a 12-2 win in a shortened game due to the margin of victory.
After Spiers' two run double in the first, Josh Claus, Austin Temple, Grayson Bennett and Will Kamnick all chipped in with RBI's to spot Neidert with a four run lead entering the second. In that second inning though, the Villains fielding problems came into play again as Bennett was unable to squeeze a routine fly ball in left field that would have ended the inning. The Vikings would proceed to load the bases before Neidert induced a groundball out from shortstop Jake Chesnet to end the inning.
The game would settle down after that, with neither team able to seriously challenge the other until the bottom of the third where fielding would come into play again, this time for the Vikings.
After Nick Castellano led off the inning with a single, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Temple, Thane Jacobsen hit a routine groundball to Chesnet who struggled initially to field the ball and then rushed his throw to first where teammate Austin Tucker was unable to come up with the ball, allowing Castellano to score from second and increase the lead to 7-2.
In the field, the Villains continued to be solid behind Neidert, who did not allow a runner past first base the final three innings. He was helped out in the field by his teammates, including Jacobsen, who gunned down a lead runner on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the third inning, and then by his catcher Kamnick who threw out Vikings base runner Alex Sams on an attempted steal.
Neidert himself would strike out five batters over his five innings of work, surrendering just three hits and two runs (both earned), to help set up the fireworks in the final inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Villains opened up with with back to back doubles, first by Claus and then another by Castellano to up the lead to 8-2 and bring about the end of the day for Vikings starter Justin Gravely. In relief, Jordan Medeiros walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases and he was replaced by Chesnet, who stepped into a bases loaded, nobody out situation.
Chesnet nearly escaped the inning with no damage, forcing an infield popout from Bennett and then a foul ground fly out from Kamnick. Then the wheels came off for Chesnet as he walked the next three batters he faced, upping the lead to 11-2 before Claus closed the game with an opposite field single to drive home the game ending run.
Claus finished the game 3-4 from the plate with two RBI's, Thane Jacobsen drove in a run while reaching base in all three plate appearances and the Villains as a team had every member of their lineup reach base at least once.
The team's record now sits at 9-4 overall and 4-2 in Northwest Conference play, good for second in the league, ahead of a critical three game stretch against league leader East Surry and powerhouses Walkertown and Mount Airy. BMHSAthletics.com will have live coverage of the latter game against the Bears on Monday, April 14th as part of senior day at Bishop McGuinness! Coverage will begin at 4:20 followed by the first pitch at 4:30!