John C. Longton III
The baseball season is officially underway and the Vikings have started to put a stamp on their season. They are 7-1 after a four game set with both the Schenectady Royals and the Adirondack Timberwolves this past week.
Nick Teitter set the tempo for the week when he took to the mound in the home opener against the Royals on Wednesday, Apr. 13. Teitter threw a no-hitter in his first game at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, going five innings and striking out 10 batters as the Vikings mercied the Royals 10-0.
“It was my first time and my first home game so I really wanted to get out there and get the job done,” Teitter said after the game.
Teitter was efficient toeing the rubber averaging a strikeout for about every seven pitches thrown. Throughout the game the thought of pitching a no-hitter was in the back of his mind.
“I was always thinking it, but I knew if they got a hit, no big deal,” said Teitter.
His performance hinted at the dominant week that the team had.
In the second game against the Royals, the Viking bats picked up right where they left off, driving in 13 runs and surrendering six as the team took both games on the day. Garret Klahr went 2-3 and contributed a team high five RBIs in the game.
On Thursday the team traveled to Schenectady for face the Royals for another two game set with a similar outcome. In the first game is was the Darren Conte and Joseph Zabbara show. Conte pitched five innings and got the win on the mound while going 3-3 and driving in four RBIs. Zabbara hit two solo home runs as he and the Vikings made a statement to the Royals after getting swept on that same field a year prior.
In the second game the Vikings once again showed their dominance by downing Schenectady 13-5.
Conte kept it rolling at the plate going 3-4 and driving in three runs, bringing his total up to 12-14 on the series. Garret Klahr added another three RBIs while Zabbara and Brandon Cellucci both had three hits and drove in a run.
The Vikings scored 44 runs to the 12 they gave up to the Royals in the series.
Last year, tempers flared as the Royals posed a problem for the Vikings. This year, however, they went fell to the hands of a Viking team that is deeper and more driven.
On Saturday the Vikings took to the road and traveled north to play the Adirondack Timberwolves for a two game set. They didn’t skip a beat and let the rest of the league know that they came to play this season.
The Viking bats totalled over 30 hits on the day and Andrew McCullough and Clayton Leisenfelder both only surrendered two hits in their respective starts. The Vikings won the first game 15-2 and the second 11-1. They seemed as if nothing could stop them before hosting Adirondack for another two games on Sunday with their ace planning to start the first game.
The Timberwolves gave the Vikings a bit of trouble in the first game as Hudson Valley seemed to come back to reality.
Nick Teitter didn’t threw a decent game, totalling six K’s, but the Timberwolves seem to have very timely hits. They roughed him up for three runs before he was taken out and went on to win the game 5-0.
The Vikings battled back in game two as Caleb Gregg threw a complete game and only surrendered a run as the Vikings cruised to a 3-1 win. Zachary DeThomasis, Brady Fallon and Connor McDonough all had an RBI in the third inning and that put the game away there.
The Vikings went 7-1 on their opening week and made a statement to the rest of the league that they are here and a force not to be reckoned with. Darren Conte hit close to .800 this week, a year removed from winning the NJCAA regular season batting title and looks to have another big season.
“I’m seeing the ball pretty good,” said Conte. “I’m just trying to take what the pitcher gives me thats all.”
Darren is currently leading the nation in batting average and on base percentage and with his game it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere.
“Darren’s hitting the crap out of the ball and he threw a gem on Thursday,” said head coach Alex Jurczynski, commenting on Conte’s impact on the team.
Besides Darren there are some newcomers that are also making major contributions as this team goes through growing pains to try to find their stride.
“It all comes down to the fact that we have to keep playing our game and if we keep doing that we’ll win,” said Jurczynski. “We’ve got the arms to do it. It’s just a matter of time.”