New Berlin - A 5-0 sweep last week put the finishing touches on a highly-successful regular season for the New Berlin West baseball team.
"We haven't really had a cold streak this year," said shortstop Adrian Peil. Ever since the start of the year we've been hitting the cover off the ball. And it's not always one guy. We don't have to count on one guy to do everything.
"Matt Rinks' been having a great year, Darin Sowinski is having a great year. Everyone just steps up."
With so much emphasis on the offense, the Vikings' defense has been overlooked.
"I think overall, our defense has been strong," veteran coach Tom Farina said. "We're a high school team, so we're going to have days where we make errors, but overall they do it the right way. Field it first, make the throw second and turn the double play third. I'm proud of what they have done all season long."
The Vikings scored in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Greendale, 3-2, on July 5 and complete the Woodland Conference season at 17-1, easily winning the Blue Division championship.
Earlier, they had downed St. Thomas More, 8-6, on July 2 and 14-4 on July 3, and they defeated Wauwatosa West, 7-4, also on July 3.
West closed out the regular season with a 2-1 non-conference triumph over Pius XI on Friday evening to wind up 22-5 overall.
The Vikings had a first-round bye in their WIAA sectional this week. They will welcome either West Allis Hale or St. Thomas More at 5 p.m. July 13 for a regional championship contest.
The winner there goes to West Allis Hale for a sectional semifinal game at 2 p.m. July 16. The sectional title game is at 5 p.m. that day at Hale.
"We ask them to keep their focus," Farina said. "We try and make it fun for them. All we ask them to do is try and get a little bit better each day. When we do that, we're good."
West 3, Greendale 2: The Vikings fell behind the Panthers, 2-1, before tying the game in the fourth. The game then remained even until the Vikings won it in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Austin Fritz worked the last two innings to get the victory, allowing three hits and a walk. David Tsolak worked the first seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs, one unearned, with two walks and four strikeouts.
Both teams had eight hits, but Allen Peil had two singles for the only multi-hit day for the Vikings.
West 8, More 6: The Vikings scored once in the seventh to tie the game and twice in the 10th to win a thriller.
The offensive stars were Andy Knoll, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Kevin Marx, who smashed a triple and drove in three runs.
Adrian and Allen Peil each singled and scored twice and the latter also drove in a run as the Cavs outhit the Vikings, 12-8.
Winning pitcher Tsolak tossed all 10 innings, scattering 12 hits and walking three. He allowed only one earned run as the Vikings made two errors, and he fanned five Cavaliers.
West 14, More 4: The Vikings bounced back and drilled More at home on July 3, banging out 13 hits and limiting the game to five innings for winning pitcher Fritz, who allowed four hits and two walks and only two earned runs in five innings.
West scored three runs in the first inning. The Cavaliers came back with four in the second, only to see the Vikings tie it in the third, 4-4. West then put the game away with six runs in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Allen Peil homered, singled, scored three times and drove in two runs; Zach Scholz singled, doubled, scored a run and drove in two runs; Darin Sowinski tripled, scored twice and drove in two runs; and Marx singled twice, scored once and drove in two runs.
Adrian Peil singled twice and scored twice, while Knoll scored twice, singled and drove in a run and Matt Rink singled twice, scored a run and drove in one.
West 7, Tosa West 4: Rink and Sowinski each homered and drove in a pair of runs, while Adrian Peil went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, Knoll tripled and drove in a run and Scholz doubled. Mike Philipps allowed nine hits to get the victory.
Phillips got three crucial double plays to keep Tosa West from scoring early.
"The ball has really been bouncing our way for that," Peil said. "Matt Rink and I have been working well together."
West 2, Pius XI 1: Philipps allowed seven hits in a complete-game victory, while Adrian Peil and Sowinski each tallied runs for the Vikings, who managed just five hits.
- Compiled by Tom "Sky" Skibosh
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