April 30, 2015 at 2:52 p.m.
The opposing starters both pitched complete games. The Vikings’ Charlie Linder went six innings, allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits, didn’t walk anybody and struck out four. Wildcat Mike Dunne did just a little bit better. He allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits, walked two and struck out eight. Wildcat head coach Jay Brown said “Mike Dunne pitched great. He's a competitor who wants the ball in his hands and battles every inning. It was nice to have him go all seven since we have three more games this week.”
With the score tied 0-0, Danks led off the top of the second for the Vikings with a double to center. He stole third. Wildcat catcher Joe Kimlinger’s throw went past third base and Danks scored on the error to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Brandon Steffensen walked and was replaced by courtesy runner JT Hunziker. Hunziker stole second and scored on Nick Solberg’s single. Dan Scarborough’s ground ball to short forced Solberg at second for the second out. Two straight singles by Nick Pilz and Linder scored Scarborough. Linder grounded to second to end the inning and the Vikings led 3-0.
The Vikings still led by three going into the bottom of the fourth. Wildcat Tyler Stilp singled to center with two outs and moved to third on Dunne’s single to right. Both runners scored on Anders Brown’s line drive double to center and the Viking lead was cut to 3-2. Gabe Taylor was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, but Kimlinger flew out to end the inning. Will Gillach doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the Wildcats. He advanced to third and then scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 3-3. Later in the inning, the Wildcats put runners on second and third with two outs, but with the count full Linder struck out Dunne looking to end the inning with the score still tied.
Anders Brown led off with a bunt single for the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth. He stole second, went to third on Gabe Taylor’s single to left and scored on the groundout by Kimlinger. Gabe Taylor scored after Gillach grounded out to short. Noah Taylor filed out to end the inning, but the Wildcats now led 5-3. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Linder and Logan Mueller both reached on errors by Wildcat shortstop Gillach. Danks worked the count to 2-2. He grounded the ball to Gillach, who fielded it cleanly this time and threw to first for the third out.
Coach Brown said, “It seems like we play pretty well when we get a lead, but have struggled when we get behind early. It was good to see the boys come back from being down three-zip. Brownie's two out double to get us on the board in the fourth was huge, but his leadoff bunt in the sixth was just as important. We executed fairly well and took advantage of a couple of miscues.”