Nate Jenkins goes the distance as Vikings overcome two errors in ninth to end six-game skid


Aaron Tolentino

Nate Jenkins releases a pitch during his complete-game victory over Sierra College at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California on March 26, 2018.

Aaron Tolentino, Sports editor

Despite two infield errors in the ninth, the Diablo Valley College Vikings survived to get starting pitcher Nate Jenkins the complete-game victory over Sierra College by a final score of 6-4 on Monday afternoon in Pleasant Hill.

The final out to end a six-game skid was filled with more drama than any of the Vikings would have wanted.

Third baseman Nick Simmons committed two consecutive errors with two outs in the ninth that put both tying runs on base. The final out was ironically hit right back at Simmons, but this time he calmly threw the Sierra batter out to seal the win.

“When I saw the ground ball coming at me, I knew I had to slow down my heart rate, take a deep breath,” said Simmons. “Knew I was gonna make a play, made it for my guy because I let him down on the two before, but I knew (Jenkins) worked hard, I had to pick him up.”

Simmons was big offensively for the Vikings, led the team with two RBIs and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

However, the star of the game was Jenkins who was gusty enough to shake off giving up four runs in the first two innings and pitch the complete game.

From the third inning on, he was dominant. Jenkins only gave up two hits, which gave DVC head coach Steve Ward the confidence to finish the game off with him on the mound.

Jenkins explained his adjustments after the shaky start.

“I’m just trying to resettle in there,” said Jenkins. “Focus on getting first-pitch strikes, draw a lot of contact (and) mostly just getting ahead in the count, really helped me out.”

Jenkins’ pitching was huge for the Viking offense. He kept his team within striking distance for them to finally break through and ultimately take the lead for good in the sixth inning.

Sierra College committed two huge errors in the sixth and the Vikings capitalized on those mistakes. Those two errors turned into two DVC runs.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Vikings, but Ward does not think the team suddenly played better today.

According to Ward, every game during that losing streak, DVC played a close game and had a chance to win each one of them. Usually, one bad inning by the pitching staff late in the game would result in a misleading final score. Today’s game just had a different outcome in the end.

The Vikings look to build upon the win when they play Santa Rosa Junior College Tuesday with first pitch scheduled at 2:30 p.m. in Santa Rosa.