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Vi-Kings of SOC

PORTSMOUTH — That’s a three-peat.

For the third straight season, the Symmes Valley Vikings are the Southern Ohio Conference Division I baseball champions, and this one is a little more special.

The Vikings beat Portsmouth Notre Dame 9-5 Friday to clinch the league title despite losing seven starters from last year’s title team that made the regional semifinals.

“The kids have worked hard. We have a lot of new faces but they stepped up and met almost every challenge. The only league game we lost was the worst game we played all year,” said Vikings’ coach Chad Renfroe.

Symmes Valley is now 15-5 and 10-1 in the SOC with only a game at Portsmouth Clay on Monday left in league play.

Nathan Dockery went the distance to get the win as he scattered 12 hits. He struck out five, didn’t walk a batter and only one run was earned.

“Dockery threw the ball well but we made some errors behind him. He gave up 12 hits but he spread them out. They couldn’t put anything together,” said Renfroe.

“We only had four hits, but we got seven walks and two batters hit by a pitch. We were patient at the plate.”

Notre Dame took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but the Vikings answered with five in the top of the fourth.

Cody Myers walked and Tyler Easthom followed with an RBI double. Luke Taylor singled, Jacob Patterson walked and Dockery had a two-run single. Kyle Bowen grounded out as a run scored.

The Titans tied the game in the bottom of the inning, but the Vikings came right back with four runs in the fifth.

Bowen walked, Cody Brown was hit by a pitch, and then Garrett Foster, Evan Herrell, Myers and Easthom all walked to force in three runs. The final run scored on a wild pitch.

Sym. Valley 000 540 0 = 9 4 3

Notre Dame 002 300 0 = 5 12 3

Nathan Dockery and Kyle Bowen. Brock Hannah, Noel (6) and Mader. W-Dockery (1-ER, 5-K, 0-BB). L-Hannah. 2B-SV: Tyler Easthom; PND: Noel, Maloney. Hitting-Symmes Valley: Tyler Easthom 1-3, Luke Taylor 1-3, Nathan Dockery 1-3, Cory Brown 1-2; Notre Dame: Glockner 1-4, Noel 2-4, Pierron 2-4, Oscar 2-4, Mader 2-4, Malone 1-4, Maloney 2-3.