May 18, 2012 — Knowing your competition can go a long way when you’re trying to pull out a win.
The Rowan County Vikings knew theirs quite well, pulling off its second victory over Fairview in four days on Wednesday night, 1-0.
Three up, three down was the story for the visitor’s offense, as Rowan’s boys laid down the shutout.
Sophomore pitcher Tyler Thacker pulled together a complete game for the Vikings on the hill.
Thacker befuddled the Eagle batters, blazing a path to victory by tossing five strikeouts while giving up only three hits.
Rowan County Head Coach Jason Davis talked about Thacker’s performance, saying he has really played big recently on the hill for his team.
“Tyler has really started to hit his stride with his pitching and we are glad to see that,” Davis said. “He’s been a pretty commanding force on the mound for us, and myself and his teammates have confidence in his abilities to pitch a solid game.”
A game that remained scoreless through five innings, the Vikings found enough offense to muster its one run during its fifth at bat.
Rowan County freshman Justin Graham helped to continue the youthful showcase, playing the hero for his team in the fifth when he picked up the go ahead RBI for the Vikings on a ground single.
Davis commented on how his young players played a key role in Wednesday’s nail biter.
“It makes me happy to see our young guys stepping up for us down the stretch here,” Davis said. “They don’t realize how important a role they can play for us in these games. Our seniors have really played big for us too in the second half of the season, and I think our younger guys feed off that.”
Six at bats was all Rowan County would need on this night, as Thacker and his fielding crew sealed the victory with another solid defensive outing in the top of the seventh.
With the win, the Vikings advanced its record to 10-21, after dropping 14 of its first 16 games of the season.
“I’m pretty pleased that we’re catching fire at the right time, and we’ve got a lot of confidence going,” Davis said. “When things weren’t going well early on, it wasn’t just tough on the players, but it was tough on us as coaches too. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the way these boys have fought, and never once did any of them give up. We’re playing good at the right time, and we feel like we have as good a chance as anybody come next week in the postseason.”
Following the win, the Vikings played its final home game of the year last night against Greenup County after press time, before it prepares for a postseason showdown with Bath County in the 61st District tournament next Monday at 7:30 p.m.
The Morehead News will have more on Rowan County’s home finale against Greenup in next Tuesday’s sports.
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.