Pelican Rapids only had 6 hits on the day but they had 4 of them in a 5 run 5th inning to defeat Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 7-5 on Monday. On Senior Day for the Vikings, playing on their home field for the last time, Isaac Olson was scheduled to start on the mound but suffered a knee injury during his warm up pitches and was unable to stay in the game. Logan Fahje took his place and pitched well, giving up only 2 earned runs on 3 hits and one walk while striking out 4. He pitched into the 5th inning before being replaced by Timmy Guler, making his first varsity appearance on the mound.
NCE/UH scored a run in the first before Pelican came back with 2 of their own in the 3rd. Justin Verdorn singled with one out and advanced to 2nd when McHale Korf reached on an error. After Guler grounded into a fielder’s choice, Carson McNeal doubled to deep left, scoring 2. The lead held up until the 5th when NCE/UH scored twice on a hit batter, 2 hits and 2 Viking errors. Pelican’s 5 runs in the 5th all came after 2 outs. Verdorn led off with a walk and Korf singled but the next 2 hitters were retired prior to Brock Sjolie walking to load the bases. Fahje beat out an infield single, scoring both Verdorn and Korf when the throw got away from the NCE/UH first baseman. Weston Funk then doubled to the gap in right center, scoring Sjolie and Fahje. Peyton Blakeway followed with another hard hit ball, a single to center sending Funk to 3rd. A passed ball allowed Funk to score the Vikings 7th run. Things got interesting in the 7th when a double and 2 infield errors brought in one run and put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs but Guler was able to retire the next batter on a ground out to preserve the win.
“It was a nice way for our 6 Seniors (McHale Korf, Weston Funk, Justin Verdorn, Logan Fahje, Levi Johnson and Isaac Olson) to finish out their careers on their home diamond, although it was too bad Olson couldn’t contribute, due to his injury,” stated Assistant Coach Steve Babb. “The pitching has been excellent for the last 5 games but our infield play, though improving, has still been out biggest defensive concern.”
The Vikings finish their regular season on Thursday, May 27 with a doubleheader at Dilworth. Playoffs begin on Tuesday against a yet to be determined opponent.