Giving up just three hits and striking out four, Viking senior Jace Johnson had one of his best outings Friday on the mound. (Photo courtesy of Carmen Johnson)
Giving up just three hits and striking out four, Viking senior Jace Johnson had one of his best outings Friday on the mound. (Photo courtesy of Carmen Johnson)

In a complete team effort, the Decorah baseball team (16-16) shut out Center Point-Urbana (17-18) in the Class 3A District 5 semifinal Friday night, 3-0, at Cedar Rapids Xavier.

The win moved the Vikings into the district final versus Cedar Rapids Xavier (36-2). The contest took place Monday, July 22. Results will be available in the Thursday, July 25 Decorah Journal. The winner will advance to face the district 6 champion Wednesday, July 24, at 7 p.m. at the highest remaining seed.

“Coach Hogan and myself could not be happier for this group of guys to put together a great team effort all around ranging from Jace’s opening effort on the mound to Caleb Keck’s pinch hit in the sixth inning,” said Coach Adam Riley. “Postseason games can be won and lost on mistakes and we played mistake-free baseball on defense and even in our team offensive approach at the plate.”

It was the Vikings’ first error-free contest of the season. Senior Jace Johnson scratched Decorah’s first run across home plate in the fourth frame after being issued a free base. Three additional Viking walks eventually lit up the scoreboard for Decorah. 

A Cael Luzum single, followed by a sac bunt by Ryan Schneberger put Decorah in scoring position in the sixth inning, leading to Keenan Tyler’s RBI single. A fielder’s choice hit by Briggs Duwe handed the Vikes a 3-0 lead and eventually the win.

“The team approach even expanded more tonight thanks to the support of the large crowd of friends and family that made the trip cheering throughout the evening and the parents that helped with everything to keep the guys cool and hydrated on the hottest night of the summer,” said Coach Riley. “Everyone’s support and efforts were greatly appreciated by the team.”

Johnson produced one of his best outings of the season, allowing three hits and striking out four. Earning the save was Luzum in the final two innings on the hill.

It was a four-hit contest for Decorah with singles by Kailer McCabe, Cael Luzum, Keenan Tyler and Caleb Keck.