Baseball preview: Vikings look to turn the table


Aaron Tolentino

The Vikings baseball team taking the field to practice at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California on January 31, 2018.

Luis Lopez, Staff Member

For the Diablo Valley College baseball team, improvement will be the main focus of the upcoming season. Following a disappointing campaign last year that saw them go 12-28, the Vikings hope to take a step in the right direction in 2018.

“I know we’re better than last year’s team,” said head coach Steve Ward, who is in his third head coaching stint with DVC since 1986, and his fifth consecutive year since 2014.

To fulfill that statement, DVC will have to get past a tough Big 8 Conference, which saw more than half its teams have winning records in 2017.

“The Big 8 Conference is just a monster in baseball, somebody from our league either wins or plays for a state championship every year,” said Ward.

In order to get past such a difficult conference, the Vikings will rely on sophomore pitchers Rob Towne and Nate Jenkins.

The experience of both Towne and Jenkins will be a big factor for a young pitching staff, which will feature three freshmen, including Gaverich Bach and Devin Murtha.

In terms of position players, shortstop Jordan Williams, an all-league player last year, hopes to guide the team in a good direction this season.

Offensively, catcher Jordan Bannister, who led the team last year with 26 RBIs, will look to lead the Vikings at the plate and continue his great run production.

Another player looking to make a big contribution, would be former Division I infielder Nick Simmons. Simmons played his previous season of college baseball at Utah Valley University of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

As a former Northgate High School standout, Simmons earned a spot on the WAC team before sustaing an injury that would end his season.

Simmons has now made his way back home to DVC and hopes to make a big impact on this 2018 roster.

The Vikings will have their home opener against College of Marin 2 p.m. Thursday in Pleasant Hill.