The past two seasons the Bellevue Christian Vikings baseball team’s season came to an abrupt halt in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
Bellevue Christian, which lost 5-1 to La Center in a loser-out first round Class 1A state playoff matchup in May of 2018, believes the 2019 season could be the year the Vikings reach the pinnacle on the diamond.
“We won our league and districts last year. We kind of laid an egg in that first game (loss to La Center). We want to get over that hump. Our expectations are to get there again,” Bellevue Christian head coach Blane Berry said.
The Vikings graduated stalwart players Daniel Teramoto and Eric Kats this past June but return nearly every other player this spring. The Vikings have seven seniors on the varsity roster.
“Those are some huge shoes to fill,” Berry said of Teramoto and Kats. “The good news is we got a lot of good guys back. We’ve got 10 guys who can throw and they can all give us pretty quality innings. We don’t have anyone who is going to come in and blow their doors off but we got some quality pitchers and a lot of depth. You always need pitching. We’ve got guys who can get guys out and throw strikes.”
Berry said key hurlers on the diamond this spring will consist of Jeff Jewett, Grant Porter, Davis Franklin, Jackson Russell and Peyton Bowers. In years past, the Vikings have been proficient on the hill but have struggled at the plate. Berry expects the offense rise to the occasion.
“I think where we are really going to step it up this year is that we are going to hit the ball. We don’t have a weak spot one through nine in the batting order. We’re pretty excited about that,” Berry said. “Jeff Jewett tied for the league lead in home runs last year. Mick Larsen and Jackson Russell are going to be big hitters. Trent Paulson is our leadoff guy. I’m confident we have a lot of players who can hit in the .300 to .350 range all the way down our lineup.”
Berry believes his team’s wealth of experience will bode well for them during the playoffs this May.
“This is the most veteran team that I’ve ever had. Usually we have just two or three seniors but this year we have seven. All seven of those seniors are key contributors,” Berry said. “The fact we’ve been there two years in a row (state playoffs), we have a good idea of what it is going to take to get over that hump.”