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The Viking baseball team starts a stretch tomorrow of 16 games in 12 days during the team's annual spring break trip to Tucson, Ariz.
Valley City State and head coach Casey Olney kick off the trip with a doubleheader against Dordt College on Thursday evening in Tucson. During the trip, the Vikings will play eight games against NAIA schools and eight games against non-NAIA schools.
The 16 games represent more than one-third of the Vikings' spring schedule of 43 games.
Valley City State begins its spring trip with a 4-7 overall record. VCSU is 0-3 in the spring after dropping a 3-game series last weekend at Midland University (Neb.).
The Viking had chances to win two games in the series, but Midland came through with clutch hits late. In the first of two games Sunday, VCSU led 6-5 before Midland scored three runs in the last inning, winning it on a walk off home run.
Valley City's offense showed solid signs during the 3-game series. The Vikings hit four home runs – two by Mike Gershman and one each by Dan Buehner and Cole Honl – and racked up 28 hits in the three games.
Gershman finished the 3-game series 4-for-11; Brady Anderson went 5-for-11; Honl was 4-for-11; and Kevin Jones went 4-for-5 at the plate.
On the mound, senior Bryce Venaas picked up where he left off last season, throwing five scoreless innings and allowing just three hits. Freshman Jaime Villarreal pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and sophomore Corey Pudas was solid in his four innings on Sunday.
With 16 games in 12 days, the entire Viking pitching rotation will be tested over the next two weeks.
The Vikings play games in Arizona from March 13-24. VCSU has off days on March 15 and March 19.
VCSU plans to provide live stats for all 16 games. Follow the Vikings live here!