Big Bend sweeps Walla Walla, wins sixth straight

Big Bend baseball's Tanner Toepke hits a grand slam.

Adam Cichoski

MOSES LAKE- The Big Bend Vikings baseball team didn't have an easy start to the season. Up until five days ago, the Vikes were cooped up in the gym and their limited practice showed when they played west side teams. Big Bend stumbled out to a 1-10 start to the season, but as of late, the Vikings have hit their stride.

The Vikings won their last four games heading into Saturday's doubleheader against the Walla Walla Warriors.

The Vikings fell behind by two runs when Warriors scored three runs in the third inning. The Vikings left runners on third in multiple innings but finally broke through in the ninth, scoring two runs to tie it. The Vikings and Warriors battled into the eleventh inning where the same player who hit the RBI to force extra innings, Matthew Plato, hit the game-winning RBI.

The time to celebrate was short as it was time for the second game. The Vikings and Warriors each scored four runs in the first inning, the Vikings four runs came courtesy of a grand slam by Tanner Toepke. The Warriors led most of the second game, but in the end it was the Vikings who came from behind to win 10-9.

"We tell our guys every single day that we gotta expect to be able to play more than 18 innings," Head Coach Jameson Lange said. "We're playing from behind early, ended up coming back, played better longer, stayed focused longer. I thought our guys did a great job coming back, finding a way to win."

Plato explained what it felt like to help his team force extra innings and then ultimately win the game. He also feels that the team is coming together at the right time.

"I mean, my mindset never changed I just try to keep cool and try to hit the ball hard and worked out for the best," Plato said. "We're starting to fire on all cylinders, starting to really come together as a team and work together so it's really fun."

The Vikings have now won six in a row and are the only team in the East region who has yet to suffer a region loss. They'll look to continue that winning streak on Wednesday when Spokane comes to town.  


To view video highlight's from Saturday's game, please visit the iFIBERONE website, HERE.