Saturday, April 01, 2023

STATE 5A BASEBALL: Viks to play for trophy after Shepard's gem

| May 22, 2021 1:10 AM

CALDWELL — There was no pre-game speech needed for the Coeur d’Alene Vikings before a loser-out game in the state 5A baseball tournament.

Nope, the Vikings were pretty locked in from the time they woke up on Friday morning.

“We woke up and had a study hall, then went over to Capital High (in Boise) for a quick practice,” Coeur d’Alene coach Erik Karns said. “We were just ready to play. Our seniors have done a great job of leading these kids all season.”

As for the game, senior left-handed pitcher Troy Shepard struck out 12 and allowed one hit in 5 1/3 innings as the Vikings beat Highland of Pocatello 5-1 at Wolfe Field to advance to today’s consolation championship game.

“Troy has been fantastic for us the last three weeks of the season,” Karns said. “It was the best pitching performance we’ve had from him all season. He was hitting his spots with his fastball and off-speed stuff. He was spot on and they swung through a lot of pitches.”

Coeur d’Alene (15-8) faces Idaho Falls (24-5), which beat Kuna 12-2 in the other loser-out game, today at 9 a.m. in the consolation championship game.

Cooper Larson walked leading off the bottom of the first inning and scored on an RBI single by Alex Karns to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Coeur d’Alene added four more runs in the third inning, keyed by an RBI double by Andrew Karns.

“We were able to get some runs early,” said Erik Karns, father of Alex and Andrew. “With the way that Troy was pitching, it was important to score early, and we did just enough to get the win.”

Highland finishes 18-12.

Highland 000 000 1 — 1 4 2

Coeur d’Alene 104 000 x — 5 4 1

Easton Eddie, Scott Baker (5) and Aaron Kearns; Troy Shepard, Jayden Rowley (6), John Gwaltney (7) and Wade Mallory, Andrew Averett (3).

HITS: High — unknown, Sneddon, Kearns 2. Cd’A — Al. Karns 2, An. Karns, Bridge. 2B — An. Karns.

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