Niles Vikings perfect at USSSA state tourney

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2004

By Staff
The Niles Junior Baseball Vikings, a 13-year-old travelling baseball team, were crowned Michigan State Champions Sunday at the USSSA state championship tournament in Canton.
The Vikings went undefeated in the tournament, ending with a record of 6-0 after defeating runner-up Saint Clair Shores Devil Rays 8-4 in the title contest.
Niles is currently ranked No. 1 in the USSSA power rankings for the state of Michigan and No. 9 in the national rankings.
The Vikings will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., for a tournament this weekend and will return to Canton July 18-25 for the World Series.
The victory at the state tournament gave the Vikings a record of 19-4 in USSSA-sanctioned events with an overall record of 41-9.
Niles began pool play at the state tournament Friday night with a 5-0 win over the Lake Orion Waves. Pitcher Taylor Ort went the distance, striking out 11 batters. The Viking defense turned two double plays to stop scoring threats by the Waves.
After going scoreless for four innings, Alec Taylor, Ryan Johnson and Corey Johnson came up with three two-out singles, resulting in three runs. In the sixth inning, Cam Luther led off with a double. After an intentional walk to Asaad Ali, Nick Davis drove both runners in with a single to right field.
On Saturday, Niles beat the Milan Diamond Dawgs 11-3 in a mercy-rule victory. Ryan Johnson struck out five in the four-inning contest. Luther led the team at the plate with a single and a home run. Dominique Pompey, Mike Simpson, Ryan Johnson, Taylor and Ali each hit a single.
In the final round of pool play, the Vikings beat the Birmingham Sun Devils 8-2. Simpson, the starting pitcher, went five innings, allowing just five hits and one run while striking out six. Luther came on in relief and finished the game.
Corey Johnson hit three singles to pace the Vikings' hitting attack. Ali hit a triple in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach. Ryan Johnson also hit a double while Davis, Taylor and Andrew Brawley each came up with a single.
As the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals, Niles beat the Michigan Hitmen 9-1 on Sunday. Ort pitched six innings, striking out five. He also led the team on offense with a triple, two doubles and a single. Ryan Johnson added a single and a double while Corey Johnson, Taylor and Brawley each hit a single.
In the semifinals, Ryan Johnson pitched four shutout innings as the Vikings beat Midland 8-0 in a mercy-rule game. Ryan Johnson struck out five batters with no walks. He also led the team at the plate with a single and two doubles. Davis hit a three-run homer over the center-field fence while Luther and Ali each hit a double. Taylor added two singles and Pompey singled once.
Finally, in the title game, Luther started on the mound and pitched three innings with only one earned run allowed. Ort came in to finish the game, pitching the final four innings with six strikeouts and one earned run.
Pompey led the hitting attack in the championship game with a double and a single. Taylor, Ali and Corey Johnson each hit two singles while Davis and Simpson added one single apiece.