By Rachel Haueter
For the Enterprise
Three wins on the road this past week catapulted the Vale baseball team to second place in the OSAA 3A state rankings.
With wins over Willamina, Glide and Burns, the 4-1 Vikings sit behind 2-0 Rainier.
They picked up the wins over spring break, as they participated in the Burns tournament.
Willamina was the Viks’ first victim, falling 9-1 on Wednesday, March 23. Gage Fortin and Cody Towers pitched the seven innings combining for 10 strikeouts and only three walks.
Fortin helped his cause with two hits, while Trace Cummings had one. Towers had one hit, two RBIs; Josh Buchholz one hit and two RBIs; Dawson Eddy one hit, one RBI; Cade Perry and Kade Haueter rounded out the tally with one hit each.
Game two for the day saw Vale defeat Glide 5-3. Buchholz pitched the complete game giving up four hits, while striking out four and walking three.
Hitters were Fortin, Towers and Eddy with one apiece and Marco Gomez had two hits. RBIs were credited to Buchholz, Eddy, Perry and Gomez with one each.
The final game was on Thursday with Vale defeating Burns 15-7.
Eddy and Towers pitched the game giving up 10 hits, had two strikeouts and three walks.
“We also had 10 hits,” said Vale coach Rick Yraguen. “We just seemed to get our hits at the right time.”
Vale hitters: Cummings 2/5, double, two RBIs; Fortin 3/5, one RBI; Towers one RBI; Buchholz 2/3, triple, two RBIs; Eddy 2/5, double, five RBIs; and Tell Deroin 1/2, double.
Yraguen summed up the tournament: “This was a great week for us to come away with three wins against three quality teams.”
Vale will play its first home game Wednesday in a rematch with Homedale, Vale’s only loss.
League play begins this Friday at home, when Enterprise/Joseph comes to town. Game time is 5 p.m.