Vikings win gold in Pirie

GOLD MEDAL WIN: Whyalla's Vikings team claimed gold at the Port Pirie Come See Change Masters Games.
GOLD MEDAL WIN: Whyalla's Vikings team claimed gold at the Port Pirie Come See Change Masters Games.

Whyalla Vikings went away from the Port Pirie Come See Change Masters Games winning gold in Division 2 baseball. Whyalla played three games on the Friday seeing them up against Adelaide Aces.

Tim Hyde and Rohan Voumad scored across the plate, Whyalla's Damien Pietuch, Chris Luvisi Scott Preiss and Taman Stengewis were all on with safe hits and Dale Kenyon's home run along with a couple of errors saw them finish with eight runs across. The Aces kept to three up, three down for the rest of the game with some nice pitching by Dave Adams to Scott Preiss.

The second game saw the Vikings play a great scoreless innings to Adelaide Playford with Nathan King pitching to Scott Preiss. Playford were kept to just the one hit by Keith Fulton, the outfield getting some work by the Vikings with Nathan's two hits to left along with Dale Kenyon, Chris Luvisi and Paul Gibbons (Nathan finishing with 7 K2's). Vikings took the win 4-0.

The third game saw a top game between the Vikings and Mt Gambier. Danny Roffey had his first go on the mound pitching to Damien seeing the team kept busy both in the infield and outfield with Mt Gambier's John Farrington, Dean Lane and Dave Thornton on with safe hits and scoring two across.

But Vikings wanted to finish the day with three wins, seeing them have some time in the batters box with Phil Hillman having three safe hits, Dave Adams and Danny all on and scoring runs and taking the win 6-2. Saturday saw them up against Playford again and with them wanting to make up for the first game saw them come out fighting and scoring three across with some nice hitting by Patrick Levagurrese and Clayton Francis. Vikings in for their bat saw five across the plate with hits from Dave Adams and Danny Roffey. The second saw Playford take the lead with Phillip Mitchell, Brett Whitlam and Dave Waszenuik all scoring with some well placed hits.

But with the Vikings on a winning streak saw them fight back with hits by Scott and Dave and finishing up the runs was Taman and Nathan scoring from Damien's two base hit into the outfield taking the win 11-7. The last game to play for the medals round saw them play the Aces again, with Taman pitching to Scott seeing the Vikings come out hard with some great fielding and with them connecting to the bat. Steve Welgraven had two hits to left, Paul two hits to centre and Taman's three base hit saw them surge ahead in runs and take the win 12-1. 

The Gold Medal play off game saw the Vikings against Mt Gambier who were into bat first and scoreless. Vikings Phil Hillman pitched (finishing with 5 K2's 2 put outs and 5 assists) to Scott seeing a one-sided affair with the boys having a hitting fest in the first with Damien, Scott, Dale and Nathan scoring with two sac fly outs from Dave Adams and Chris getting six across. 

The game went for five innings and Mt Gambier still tried to connect with the bat which saw John Farrington finally with a safe hit in the fourth and David Thornton in the fifth but both were stuck on base and the game finished in the Vikings favour 7-1. Great gold medal team work by the boys who could do no wrong over the three-day carnival.

Thanks to the Whyalla Vikings putting in a team for the Pirie Masters Games, Phil Hillman, Danny Roffey, Steve Welgraven, Dale Kenyon, Damien Pietuch, Taman Stengewis, Chris Luvisi, Paul Gibbons, Nathan King, Matty Jarvis (team manager) and shout out to Scotty Preiss who played his 712th game which broke the original held by Steve Mikic for a few years (congrats, Scotty) and Dave Adams who played his 200th  game (congrats also Dave).

- JANE BOXALL