The Coeur d’Alene Vikings’ bats have heated up at just the right time.
State-bound Coeur d’Alene piled up 12 hits, including seven extra-base swats, as the Vikings handled the Lake City Timberwolves 13-1 Thursday in a run-ruled shortened 5A Region I loser-out baseball game at Ted Page Field.
The Vikings (21-9) will meet District III fourth-place finisher Capital of Boise (15-12) in a state tournament opener Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Boise. It’s a rematch of a state opener a year ago that the Viks lost.
Regional champ Lewiston (24-2) opens against District III runner-up Rocky Mountain (19-8).
CdA came out swinging early and didn’t let up. Colin Comack, the Vikings’ second hitter in the first inning, hit a solo homer and three batters later Chad Nyquist hit a run-scoring single for a 2-0 lead.
LC (13-11) scored its lone run, which was unearned, off CdA right-hander Jake Pereira (5-1) in the second. After that, it was an avalanche of CdA hits.
CdA used three walks to load the bases to begin the third. Then Pereira had an RBI single, Brian Klatt had a two-run single and Matt Lambert knocked in a run with a hit as the Vikings extended their lead to 6-1.
They batted around in the fourth. New Mexico State-bound catcher Devon Austin hit a three-run homer, Klatt had a sacrifice fly, Lambert drove in two more with a triple and Drew Turbin broke the school record for most triples in a season with his seventh, knocking in CdA’s final run.
“We hit it pretty well at the beginning of the year and then we kind of teetered a little bit in the middle of the season,” CdA coach Nick Rook said. “At the end of the year we’ve started to pick it up. This is when we really want to catch fire.”
Not even fire extinguishers could have cooled off the Vikings. All nine batters had at least one hit.
“We’re pretty good one through nine,” Rook said. “When the guys stay within themselves they can be pretty electric.”
LC managed just three hits.
“Things didn’t go our way today,” first-year LC coach Al Bevacqua said. “We’re starting to grow again as a program. Noah didn’t build his ark in one day. We have to be thankful for what we accomplished this year and go back to the drawing board for next year.”
Rook believes CdA can challenge for the state title.
“We’re as good as anybody,” Rook said. “We’re going down there to try to make a statement. We’re not going down there to go 0-2 like last year.”
Austin expects a good result.
“We have the talent and dedication,” Austin said. “We’ll be ready. We just have to come every inning ready to play.”