For the first three innings against Swanton, Evergreen looked listless and flat at the plate with just two hits against Swanton’s Ryan O’Shea.
However, when the Vikes needed a surge of offense the most, it was the ninth hitter in the lineup, sophomore Brady Kanneman, who gave them an injection of energy with a pair of two-out, two-run singles, and coupled with Landen Vance’s dominating performance on the hill, Evergreen took a 6-1 victory over the Bulldogs Monday.
The NWOAL win put Evergreen in position to grab a share of the title with a win over Bryan Thursday.
Swanton took a second inning 1-0 lead on somewhat of a fluke.
Drake Harris singled off Vance — one of only two Bulldog hits — and stole second.
When Harris attempted to steal third, Isaac Overfield’s throw bounced off the helmet of Adam Lemon who was batting, and by the time the ball was recovered Harris had scored.
However, the only other threat by the Bulldogs came in the bottom of the fifth.
Down 6-1, a walk and John Heckert’s bouncer to right put two on with one out but after a sacrifice, Vance got O’Shea on a bouncer to third.
Before and after, the Viking right-hander was unhittable as he struck out 16, including the side twice, and three straight to end the second after the Bulldogs scored their run.
“He was pretty good today,” Viking coach Mark Cymbolin said of Vance. “His pitch count got up a little but that happens in a high strikeout game. He located well and hit spots pretty much every inning.”
The Evergreen bats finally woke up in the fourth.
Ashton Sayers doubled to deep left and Connor Hewson reached on an infield hit.
The next two Vikings went out but Kanneman lashed a single to right to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
Evergreen added four insurance runs the next inning.
A base hit from Layne Vance and two Bulldog miscues in the field, along with a wild pitch brought home a pair of runs to make it 4-1, then again with two down, Kanneman lined a base hit to right to bring in another two for a 6-1 lead.
“Brady came up earlier in the season with all the injuries we’ve had,” said Cymbolin. “He has really done a job for us. His approach at the plate has been really good and today he really gave us what we needed with some of our other guys not having good at-bats.”
Evergreen now is 12-5 on the year overall. Swanton sits at 5-8.