By RODNEY HARWOOD of the COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD
MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Vikings weren't even ranked in the May 9 NWAC Baseball Coaches poll, but they kept pushing forward under the radar, clinching the No. 3 spot in the East Region in the last week of the regular season.
First-year manager Jameson Lange thought his Vikings (31-18) would be one of the scariest teams in the West Super Region tournament this past weekend at Minnitti Field at Tacoma Community College.
Big Bend blew through the West Super Region like a hot knife through butter, winning three games, including two over West No. 2 seed Tacoma (32-12), to return to the NWAC Baseball Championships for the first time since 2002. Pete Doumit laid the foundation and Jameson, his longtime assistant now in the skipper's seat, has the Runnin' Vikes back in the Elite Eight for the first time in 15 years.
"This means a lot. I put everything I had into it 12 years ago as a player. Then being a part of the coaching staff the last five years under Pete Doumit building the program, not just the athletic part of it, but the character and work ethic," Jameson said. "Pete Doumit set the foundation and all I've had to do was put the final touches on it. We've been talking about Longview every single day since Since Sept. 21 when they arrived on campus. The kids worked hard and listened, and expected to be in this situation. "
The West Super Region winners will now advance on to the NWAC Baseball Championships on Thursday where they will play Edmonds at 12:35 p.m. in Longview. The Tritons (38-7) are the No. 1 seed out of the North and finished the final coaches poll at No. 3. But, they go into the tournament having won just six out of their last 10 games.
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