Questionable calls can’t stop Vikings baseball win


(Photo by Courtney Johnson/ The Inquirer, 2010)

Despite a questionable umpire and a couple of errors, the Vikings finished strong, using a ninth inning rally to beat the Cosumnes River Hawks by a score of 4-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and two strikes, Josh Nuyten hit a ground ball to third base and beat out the throw to first base, allowing Tim Gulbransen to score the winning run. Nuyten also knocked in the first run of the game.

“It felt good,” said Nuyten. “I’ve done it a few times in the past, so I had no negative thoughts in my head and I was just thinking I could do it the whole time.”

Eric Andrews and Mitch Petrak had crucial hits as well, bringing in the remaining runs scored by the Vikings.

Andrews slammed the ball to right field in the third inning, scoring a run and tying the game at 3-3. Petrak hit a ball high over the shortstop’s head into the outfield, to bring in the second run of the game.

The Hawks currently sit at the top of the Big 8 Conference. With the win, the Vikings improved their conference record to 4-3, and sent the Hawks record to 5-2.

Some controversial calls marred the victory for the Vikings, culminating in heated arguments with the umpires in the third inning and a DVC player being ejected.

There was a disputable play on the base paths towards home plate in the top of the inning. Head coach Mike Neu questioned the angle at which the home plate umpire was standing, convinced it obstructed his clear view of the play.

But the umpire maintained his call and ruled the runner safe at home, thus giving the Hawks the lead at 3-2.

“It’s part of the game, and you have to deal with bad things that happen,” Neu said after the game. “I was trying to move on, but it’s hard sometimes when things don’t go exactly how you want them to.”

Then in the bottom of the inning, center fielder Dustin Wold was thrown out of the game after he argued with the home plate umpire on what he considered an unfair strike.

“He overreacted,” said Wold later. “I told him the ball was outside and dragged my bat where the pitch was, and I can’t play next game either, it sucks.”

Throughout the game, the crowd consistently yelled out to the umpire with harsh remarks and vulgar language that implied he did not know how to consistently call the game.  

After throwing Wold out of the game, a Vikings softball player, shouted out, “Do you need a tissue, ump?” implying that the umpire was hurt by a players disagreement.

“Our guys played really well, and we deserved to win,” Neu said. With an overall record of 13-7, the Vikings play against Modesto Community College at 2:30 today at DVC.


Contact Carrie Soldati at [email protected]