Baseball mercies Wheaton 17–0 in season opener

By Asa Ostrow

The baseball team (1–0) visited the Wheaton Knights (0–1) on Tuesday afternoon to kick off the 2023 season. The Vikes stormed out of the gates with a statement win, shutting out the Knights in a dominant 17-run performance that resulted in a five-inning mercy rule.

The Vikes got on the board in the second inning, scoring three runs to take an early lead. After junior designated hitter Ethan Murley laid down a sacrifice bunt, fellow junior and catcher Gideon Schwartz scored on a defensive error. Senior right fielder Cody Paul added on with an RBI single. This was just the beginning of the onslaught, however, as the Vikes went on to destroy Wheaton’s pitching. 

In the third inning, the first two Vikes struck out, however, one wild pitch, one dropped third strike, three singles and five hit-by-pitches later, they were up 9–0. Immediately after, Murley smacked a three run double to give the Vikes a 12–0 lead. Senior left fielder Massimo Liuzzo followed up by mashing a two run home run to left field that extended the lead to fourteen. By the end of the half of the inning, the Vikes had managed to score a remarkable 11 runs, all coming with two outs. 

To lead off the fourth inning, center fielder John Wayman and third baseman Chand Amerasinghe, both juniors, each collected a single. With yet again more runs in scoring position, Schwartz put three more on the board by demolishing a homer to left. 

On the other side of the ball, the Vikes were excellent as well. The Knights only managed two hits all game, as their offense never got off the ground against the Vikes dominant pitching. Senior Liam Bowen pitched four scoreless innings to start the game. Junior Jacob Goldman took over on the mound for the last inning, striking out three straight batters to seal the mercy-rule shutout.

The Vikes will host the Springbrook Blue Devils (0–0) on Thursday afternoon at 3:45 pm in their home opener.