Some late-inning heroics from freshman third baseman Jake Manson helped Western men’s baseball team secure a series victory in the second game of a doubleheader against the University of Montana, Saturday, April 23.
Finding themselves in a 3-3 tie after a dominant 11-2 victory in the first game, the Vikings received a walk-off double by Manson to secure a game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh.
“It felt good,” Manson said. “They had eight players but at the same time we didn’t want any controversy going on, it’s good to get all the W’s.”
Fielding only eight players in a nine-player game, the Grizzlies technically forfeited the weekend’s entire three-game series.
After losing with a depleted fielding and gaps in the outfield, the Grizzlies borrowed Western’s sophomore pitcher Tyler Wald to play right field during the second game.
“It’s kind of weird getting your own teammates out,” Wald said. The second-year pitcher turned outfielder actually snagged a solid line drive from freshman outfielder Grant Jones.
“It was fun and I’ve been kind of rubbing it in already,” Wald said.
With the games already forfeited, the pressure of winning was absent. Instead, the Vikings went out to get some practice in, coach and first baseman Kevin McShane said.
The Vikings claimed first place in the Northern Pacific Conference last weekend after earning a hard-fought series victory against conference rival Gonzaga last weekend. The Vikings were hoping to keep up the momentum through the rest of the season, but this weekend’s forfeited games disrupted that McShane said.
“We were playing our best last weekend,” McShane said. “This weekend just wasn’t what we had hoped for.”
With the final home series behind it, the Vikings look next to a series against Eastern Washington University where a win means moving onto regionals.
Heading into Spokane winning seven of their last eight games, the Vikings look hopeful to finish the last weekend of their regular season strong.
“We just gotta get two wins,” McShane said.
The Vikings play again on the road against the Eastern Washington University Eagles the weekend of April 30 with the Northern Pacific Conference Regional Tournament looming in May.