The Vikings' Chris Keen pitched a gem as the hometown varsity squeaked out a 1-0 victory over the Oceanside Sailors. In a game that moved at lightning fast pace (total game time - 100 minutes), the Vikings put on a defensive masterpiece to support their hurler and compensate for an anemic offensive output. The lone tally for the Vikes came in the second inning on a solo homerun by Drew Isaacson. The rest of the contest featured a duel of pitching performances the likes of which are scarce in the scope of present day baseball.
Despite Isaacson's long ball in the second, Oceanside's Nick Conte allowed a paltry five hits throughout his six innings of work. Keen and Conte matched each other pitch for pitch, and it was apparent from the outset that this was going to be a low-scoring affair. Conte mixed his fastballs and off-speed pitches well enough to throw off the hitters' timing evidenced by his eight strikeouts. He would establish the inside corner of the plate and keep the batters off balance with a steady diet of breaking pitches. His payoff pitch could have been a heater or a curve because both deliveries hit the mark when he called upon them.
Conversely, Port's Chris Keen managed to blank Oceanside by keeping his pitches just off the plate. He didn't have a blazing fastball or a dazzling curve, but what he was able to pull off was actually more impressive because he had to rely more on the finesse of pitching to finish off his opponents. He would move the ball in and out of the strike zone in order to lure the batters into attack mode. Given the number of pop outs and fly outs throughout the seven innings, the Oceanside hitters found themselves swinging at balls just out of the strike zone that appeared to be too tempting to lay off. Keen allowed just four hits in the game supported by a few dazzling plays in the infield to keep the Sailors off the base paths while shaking their heads after each subsequent return to the dugout.