Viks sweep Lions, keeping playoff hopes alive

Left: Max Reynold is one of only two freshmen on the Siuslaw varsity baseball team. Reynolds has taken advantage of his limited playing time, getting 4 hits in his 7 at bats this season. Right: Sophomore Armando Galvan-Mendez got the scoring started for the Vikings in game two with a double in the fourth inning. That was his second double of the season. (Photos by Zac Burtt/Siuslaw News)

Regular season wraps up next week

May 6, 2022 — The Siuslaw baseball season has had its ups and downs. The team has had winning streaks and losing streaks, but going into the last week of the regular season, the Vikings are still in prime position to secure one of the 24 spots in the OSAA 4A State Playoffs.

On May 4, the Cottage Grove Lions came to town for a doubleheader. After days of rain leading up to the game and with days of rain expected in the days after the game both teams were pleased with the perfect baseball weather they were provided.

Game one was all Siuslaw.

Senior Beau Erickson didn't allow a single run against the Lions, throwing a complete game shutout and the Viks won 15-0.

Siuslaw got things started in the first inning when they put four on the board and never let up after that. The home team got three in the second, five in the third and three more in the fourth inning before the game was called as the result of the mercy rule.

In his complete game shutout, Erickson struck out eight and only allowed two hits and two walks. He also helped his team at the plate, going 1 for 3, scoring two runs and notching his team-leading 19th stolen base of the season.

“Beau had a great pitching game,” said Tom Shinn, Viking coach.

There were numerous highlights for the Viking offense.

Senior Ethan Halpin was 3 for 3 with four runs scored and two RBI.

Jason Garcia, also a senior, went 2 for 4. He doubled, drove in two and scored twice.

Senior catcher Henry Rankin went 2 for 3, also with two runs scored and two driven in.

Game two was a little bit more of a challenge for the Viks, but the home team would eventually pull out a 9-3 victory.

Cottage Grove scored one in the second and two in the third and held a 3-0 lead over the home team until the fourth inning.

Then sophomore Armando Galvan-Mendez got things going with a double in the fourth inning to drive in the Viks’ first run. Siuslaw scored two more to tie the game at 3-3.

The Vikings went on to score three in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth to win the game 9-3.

“After a rough start, I was pleased with how the team rallied to come from behind,” said Shinn. “The men showed a lot of resilience in clawing their way back from a bit of a hole.”

Freshman Max Reynolds had a great game, going 2 for 2, scoring a run and driving one in also. In limited playing time on the varsity team this season, the freshman is batting a robust .571 with four hits in his seven at bats.

Sophomore first baseman Andrew Jensen-Norman was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI.

Halpin went 1 for 3 at the plate to go with the complete game he pitched. He struck out a season-high 12 Cottage Grove batters.

After the doubleheader sweep, Stan Pusieski of Exploding Whale Sports was optimistic about the Viks earning a post season berth, most likely a road game.

“The sweep all but assured the Vikings a play-in game for the OSAA Class 4A playoffs,” he said. “A really-too-early-to-predict match has Siuslaw at No. 14 Philomath (10-9), the third-place team in the Oregon West Conference. But it really is too early to tell. But not too early to be optimistic that a play-in game is two weeks down the road, and on the road.”

The Viks traveled to Cottage Grove on Friday to face these same Lions after press deadlines. Next up for Siuslaw is a home game on Monday against Marist of Eugene. First pitch is at 5 p.m.