Baseball defeats Walter Johnson 19–16 in nailbiter playoff game

By Sara Azimi

The baseball team (11–8) outlasted the Walter Johnson Wildcats (9–10) 19–16 in an offensive showdown during the first round of the playoffs Thursday.

The Vikes had a slow start, trailing 6–3 going into the fourth inning. The team was in desperate need of an offensive spark and found their answer in center fielder Justin Carboni. He stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a grand slam off the first pitch, giving the Vikes the lead.

“Justin’s grand slam was definitely a turning point in the team’s success,” left fielder Sam Mermelstein said. “It really boosted the team’s energy and confidence.”

Their momentum carried through the fifth inning, where the Vikes took a commanding 14–8 lead.

Midway through the game, shortstop Tyler DeMartino was ejected after he tagged the runner sliding into second in the face, which the umpire called “malicious.”

“This game was about picking each other up,” second baseman Shinny Ishiyama said. “When Tyler got ejected, we said to each other that we’ll pick Tyler up.”

The rest of the game was back and forth, with no team keeping control for long. The Wildcats came back and took a two run lead late in the game.

“It was kind of like a roller coaster with all the lead changes,” third baseman Matt Ryan said.

The Vikes headed into the final inning with a 19–16 lead, and they managed to hang on, closing out strong with a double play to end the game.