The North Boone Vikings went over 20 wins on the 2024 high school baseball season. On May 4, the Vikings beat Harvard by a score of 15-8, which was their 20th win of the season. At that time, the Vikings still had a handful of regular season games left on their schedule.

Andrew Baden, North Boone head coach, spoke about the team achieving twenty wins. “It’s pretty special to get to twenty wins this year as North Boone has not been a powerhouse program in baseball ever, until now. Last year, we graduated All-State Division 1 Commit, Chandler Alderman, and another All-Conference player. So, to lose talent like that and still come out with an even better record this year just speaks to the overall health and upward trajectory of the program. The guys on the team have really bought in and believe how special this group could be.” Baden shared.

Baden’s players would prove his message to be true. In the final days of the regular season, the Vikings picked up three consecutive wins over Winnebago and Oregon. Not only did they improve their overall record to 23-8 on the season, but they extended their winning streak to eight games.

Everyone wants to go into the postseason playing their best ball, and that is just what the Vikings have done this year. An eight-game win streak heading into the postseason is just about the best finish to the regular season a team could ask for.

On May 9, the Vikings picked up a nail-biting victory over the Oregon Hawks. The Vikings rode the coattails of another epic pitching performance from Eli Lopez. In five innings, Lopez struck out nine while allowing just two earned runs on three hits.

At the plate, the Vikings had just one hit themselves. That came off the bat of Gage Vermett. Matt Self had the big hit of the day, however, as his fourth inning sacrifice fly would prove to be crucial in the outcome of a 3-2 victory.

Two days later, the Vikings faced off with Oregon in the final game of the regular season. This time around, the Hawks couldn’t keep things so close as the Vikings created some separation.

JJ Ford got the win from the mound in this one. With five strikeouts and two earned runs allowed over three innings, Ford gave his team a chance to win. He also only allowed three hits in his outing.

Vermett was excellent in relief. He tossed two clean innings with zero runs, zero hits, zero walks, and two strikeouts. The combination of Ford and Vermett on the mound would prove to be a successful recipe for North Boone.

At the plate, RJ Wolski led the way, going one for two with two runs batted in. Margarito Espain went two for three in the win. Lopez was one for two with a run scored, a walk, and two RBIS. Self was one for three with a run scored, a walk, and one RBI in the win.

With the win, the Vikings finished the regular season with a record of 23-8 and a second-place finish in the Big Northern Conference.

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