Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Vikings earn first win of the season

Herald Sports Staff | March 5, 2024 3:19 PM

PASCO — Entering the weekend with an 0-4 record, the Big Bend Vikings picked up a win in Sunday’s doubleheader against Blue Mountain, defeating the Timberwolves 6-2 after losing to them 9-5 earlier in the day. 

Viking freshman Garin Gurtler got the start on the mound for the second game Sunday afternoon, pitching six innings while surrendering three hits, one run and striking out nine batters. Big Bend went up 3-0 after the first three innings, and after Blue Mountain got the game back within one run, the Vikings scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to add some insurance, winning their first game of the season 6-2 over Blue Mountain.

“After a conversation and a reset after game one, we were able to come out with a different mindset,” Big Bend Head Coach Chase Tunstall said in a release. “A dominant outing from freshman starting pitcher Garin Gurtler, along with an early solo blast by freshman Ryley Doig fueled the Vikes for a game-two victory. Even though we were able to eliminate the goose egg in the win column this weekend, which is always a good feeling, we still have plenty to work on. With that being said, game two was a step in the right direction. We look forward to a focused week of practice."

In Sunday’s first game, Big Bend led 3-1 through the first three-and-a-half innings before the Timberwolves began to come back, taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. After the Vikings re-took the lead, 5-4 in the top of the sixth, Blue Mountain scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-5 lead, eventually winning 9-5.

“After the positive offensive output in the first three innings, we struggled executing on the offensive side of the ball,” Tunstall said. “Mixed in with the shortage of offense, we struggled to find the strike zone in the middle innings along with defensive miscues that led to a plethora of earned and unearned runs. Falling short in these areas make it very difficult to win in this league.”

Big Bend hosts Centralia Community College for their home opener of the 2024 season, playing doubleheaders both Saturday and Sunday; first pitch for both days is at 11 a.m.