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Vikings capture district championship

McDERMOTT – The Symmes Valley Vikings might have trouble getting started, but once they get in gear they’re hard to stop.

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

McDERMOTT – The Symmes Valley Vikings might have trouble getting started, but once they get in gear they’re hard to stop.

The Vikings started slow but went on to beat the New Boston Tigers 3-0 Tuesday to capture the Division IV district championship.

The game was scoreless until the Vikings got a run in the the fourth. They added single runs in the sixth and seventh to complete the scoring.

"It seems like it takes us a while to get started. We don’t seem to start playing until the fourth or fifth inning," Vikings coach Rusty Webb said.

"It feels good to finally win the district. We’ve been in the championship game the last couple of years but it seemed like something would always go wrong."

With the district title in hand, the Vikings (15-10) will play Steubenville Catholic (14-8) at 2 p.m. Friday at the American Legion Field in Lancaster.

Justin Myers fashioned a two-hitter as he struck out 12 and walked just one in going the distance. Myers (6-1) last pitched 12 days ago and didn’t have his best fastball. However, he baffled the New Boston hitters with an outstanding breaking ball.

While Myers was giving the Vikings a stellar effort, his counterpart Michael Pierce was limiting the Vikings to four hits. He struck out 11 and walked just one.

"That’s the best Myers’ curveball has looked all year," Webb said. "Justin threw a great game and Billy McCarty came up with two big plays. But give their kid credit. Pierce threw a heck of a game."

The Vikings finally got their engines jump started with one out in the fourth.

Billy McCarty dropped a base hit just inside the right field foul line over the first baseman’s head for a bad hit leading off the inning.

McCarty then stole second and an out late scored on a looping base hit to center.

"I was just hoping to get a hit," McCarty said. "When I got on, I was just thinking steal and try to go home."

McCarty was partly responsible for the second run, too.

Josh Robinson walked to begin the sixth and stole second. An out later, McCarty doubled into the right-centerfield gap and Robinson came around to score.

"I just just looking for something close to the plate and to make contact," said McCarty who was both happy and relieved to have won the district title. "This is the best feeling I’ve ever had. We’ve been here two times and never won. I’m just happy to get it."

A pair of New Boston errors helped the Vikings get an insurance run in the seventh.

Back-to-back bunts by Michael Roth and Nathan Pinkerman were misplayed for errors and Eric Holland singled to center to load the bases.

Pinch-hitter Terry Elswick then put down a squeeze bunt to score Roth.

McCarty was the only player with more than one hit as he went 2-for-3.

New Boston (13-15) had two hits, a couple of back-to-back handle-hit singles in the sixth by Zak Howard and Pierce. Myers struck out the next batter to end the inning.

The only other New Boston batters to reach second base were Matthew Marshall who walked and moved up on a ground out in the second, and Pierce who was safe on a two-base error in the fourth.

Sym. Valley 000 101 1 – 3 4 1

New Boston 000 000 0 – 0 2 2

Justin Myers and Eric Holland. Michael Pierce and Cody Bender. W-Myers 6-1 (12-K, 1-W). L-Pierce (11-K, 1-W, 2-ER). WP-Pierce. LOB-Symmes Valley 5, New Boston 4. 2B-Symmes Valley: Billy McCarty. Sac-Symmes Valley: Terry Elswick. SB-Symmes Valley: Billy McCarty, Josh Robinson. Hitting-Symmes Valley: Billy McCarty 2-3 (RBI), Adam Corn 1-3 (RBI), Eric Holland 1-3; New Boston: Zak Howard 1-3, Michael Pierce 1-3. Umpires: Bernie Hensley (HP), Larry Muche.