Vikings head to state for second year in a row

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Vikings head to state for second year in a row

Sophomore Kolby Solomon throws 97 pitches through six innings as Vikings topple Jackson 5-0 in round two.

Sophomore Kolby Solomon throws 97 pitches through six innings as Vikings topple Jackson 5-0 in round two.

Olivia Sasson

Sophomore Kolby Solomon throws 97 pitches through six innings as Vikings topple Jackson 5-0 in round two.

Olivia Sasson

Olivia Sasson

Sophomore Kolby Solomon throws 97 pitches through six innings as Vikings topple Jackson 5-0 in round two.

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After wrapping up the 2019 regular season, the Vikings jumped into the Wes-King tournament with a first-round bye as the second seed from KingCo, and were set to begin their run in round two of the postseason.

In their playoff opener on May 4, the boys were at home against Jackson High. Sophomore Kolby Solomon took the mound and locked down the Jackson lineup, throwing six shutout innings, while offensively, junior Zach Hedge tallied three RBIs leading the Vikings to a 5-0 win.

Following the victory, the Vikings were set to take on Cascade, the winner of the WesCo division. The Vikings took a commanding lead early, going up 3-0 in the second inning on Cascade’s starting pitcher and capitalizing off a crucial error by the Cascade infield. The game tightened up later on with Inglemoor clinging to a 4-3 lead.

With the bases loaded, and the Bruins threatening to take the lead, senior shortstop Sean Mulcare fielded a hard ground ball backhanded and fired a dart on the run throwing out the runner in tremendous fashion to close out the inning, swiping the momentum right back into the Viking dugout.

The 4-3 thriller sent Inglemoor to the Wes-King title game for the second year in a row, and once again they were set to play Skyline in a rematch of the 2018 championship (a game the Vikings won 7-3).

Head coach Craig Bishop said there was a different feeling among the team in this year’s championship.

“We came in with more confidence than last season. There was a familiarity among us that wasn’t there last season so I think we came in feeling a lot more loose than last year,” Bishop said.

In search of redemption, Skyline hopped on Inglemoor early, crushing a home run with two runners on base to take the early lead. The Vikings fought back, battling for the title of repeat champions, but Skyline held sturdy this time, taking home the title 6-4.

“We were able to compete and play one of our best games against a very talented team,” senior centerfielder Sean Kauffman said, “but unfortunately they were able to get the big hits when they needed them.”

Bishop commended his squad on their offensive excellence as well.

“The difference was we had the big hit against them last year, and they got the big hit this year,” Bishop said.

Despite the loss, the Vikings have qualified for state for the second straight season and are once again set to play Skyview High School, the team that eliminated Inglemoor in state last season.

The Vikings will seek their first state tournament victory in program history at 10 a.m. on May 18 at Heritage Park.

“We’re trying to win the first state game in Inglemoor history,” Kauffman said. “Once we get that first one under our belt, we’ll be looking towards the dogpile in Pasco.”

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