(Sidney) — The Stanton baseball team pulled away from Sidney in a 13-6 win Monday night, clinching the outright regular season Corner Conference title.
The Vikings (14-4) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings. Sidney would battle back over the third and fourth frames, eventually tying the game 5-5 heading into the top of the fifth. Stanton’s offense exploded for seven runs in the fifth, which ended up being the game changer down the stretch.
“We started off a little slower than what we would have wanted,” Stanton co-head coach Jason Hart said in a post game interview with KMA Sports. “We kind of had the Monday lags. I would explain it that way. We came around and finally started hitting the ball like we normally do. Overall it was a great team effort.”
Coach Hart says the team made it a goal coming into the 2019 summer season to capture the regular season conference title. The Vikings made that goal become reality Monday night.
“We wanted to go back-to-back,” Hart said. “We won it last year and we wanted to do that again this year. Tonight, we came down here and we did it.”
In the win, the Vikings had big nights from the brothers of Carter and Drake Johnson. Carter is a freshman and Drake a senior.
Carter went 3-for-3 with three singles, four runs batted in, and drew two walks on his way to reaching base every time he came up to the plate. Meanwhile, Drake smashed a solo home run to left field in the top of the fourth, his sixth of the season, and was also intentionally walked two times. One of those intentional walks came with the bases loaded. Both Carter and Drake talked with KMA Sports after the game.
“A lot of pitches came right over the plate for me,” Carter said on his big night batting. “I recognized some offspeed pitches, maybe a curveball, and just took it to the opposite side of the field.”
“That hasn’t happened before,” Drake said on being intentionally walked with the bases loaded. “The last game I got (intentionally) walked two times and that was the first time all season. Today it happened two times. I kind of figured they might, but that had never happened before.”
Junior Keygan Day had a 3-for-4 night with four RBI, junior Tyler Peterson drove in a run on two hits, senior Thomas Bates hit in two runs, and sophomore Colby Royal had an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
The Vikings have three regular season games remaining. Coach Hart says the team will face East Union on the road Wednesday night before playing Southwest Valley and Essex/South Page next week. That’s when the team will gear up for the district tournament.
“We are looking forward to district’s,” Hart said. “We are in a very tough district that includes St. Albert, Lo-Ma, and AHSTW. It will be very difficult, but we think with our pitching and hitting that we can make a run in there.”
Sidney fell to 6-11 overall with Monday night’s loss. Senior Zayne Osborn, junior Brett Gruber, freshman Cole Stenzel and junior Cale Phillips combined to drive in five of the team’s six runs. The Cowboys have two more home games this week as they face Tri-Center Tuesday night and AHSTW on Friday.
Video interviews with Carter and Drake Johnson, and Coach Hart can be found below.