By William /

NICKERSON – Despite having the game called in the top of the seventh inning, the Smoky Valley baseball team earned dominating 20-12 victory on the road at Nickerson on Tuesday in their 2022 season opener.

“We were in the top of the seventh inning when the game was called,” explained Viking head coach Dalton Eastep. “The official record will show the score from the end of the sixth inning which was 20-12, as the game was ruled a complete game when called. We will reschedule the second game later in the season.”

Smoky Valley jumped all over Nickerson in the first three innings, putting 11 runs on the board before Nickerson was able to pour eight across in the bottom of the fourth to pull within three runs at 11-8. The Vikings then added four in the top of the fifth and another five in the top of the sixth to take a 20-8 advantage into the bottom of the sixth where Nickerson added four more runs.

In the top of the seventh, the Vikings were in the process of putting another seven runs on the board when the umpires and coaches called the game due to weather.

While the game was officially called using the score at the end of the sixth inning, the stat sheets recorded those stats built up in the top of the seventh that did get played – this will explain why the stats may differ from the official scoreboard.

For Smoky Valley, Trayton Miller opened the game on the mound and went two innings before giving way to Nolan Moore for an inning. Kade Blanchat came in and closed out the final three innings as the three Vikings combined to strikeout 12, seven of which were by Blanchat, along with just six earned runs on 10 hits while only walking four.

The Nickerson pitchers had trouble with pitch control as they walked a total of 23 Viking batters to go along with giving up 20 hits.

As for the Smoky Valley bats, Trayton Miller, George Moore, and Ethan Able each recorded three hits while Kade Blanchat, Trevor Jones, and Austin Sharp each had a pair. Miller scored five times while both Nolan and George Moore, Able, Blanchat, and Jones all scored three times.

Able knocked across five runs while Sharp had four runs batted in. Miller, Able, Blanchat, and Braxton House each had a double with Trevor Jones pounding out a triple.

The Vikings also recorded 14 stolen bases with George Moore and Miller each getting three.

Next up for the Viking baseball team will be a road trip on Friday, April 1 to Southeast of Saline.


GAME 1:                   1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – R – H – E

VIKINGS                     2 – 6 – 3 – 0 – 4 – 5 – 0 – 20 – 27 – 5

Nickerson                  0 – 0 – 0 – 8 – 0 – 4 – 0 – 12 – X – X                 

SMOKY VALLEY VIKING PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB): Trayton Miller 2.0-6-8-2-2-1; Nolan Moore 1.0-3-4-4-3-2; Kade Blanchat 3.0-1-0-0-7-1. Team Totals: 6.0-10-12-6-12-4.

SMOKY VALLEY VIKING HITTING (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): Trayton Miller 4-5-3-2-3; Nolan Dauer 2-2-0-0-1; Grant Kern 1-1-1-1-1; George Moore 3-3-3-2-2; Nolan Moore 1-3-0-1-2; Michael Hawk 1-2-0-0-0; Ethan Able 4-3-3-5-2; Kade Blanchat 2-3-2-3-4; Trevor Jones 5-3-2-1-2; Austin Sharp 5-1-2-4-1; Braxton House 2-1-1-0-4; Aiden Hill 2-0-0-0-1. Team Totals: 32-27-17-19-23. LOB: 19. 2B (4): Miller, Able, Blanchat, House – 1. 3B (1): Jones – 1. SB (14): Miller, G. Moore – 3; Dauer, Blanchat – 2; Able, Sharp, Hill, House – 1.

Nickerson Pitching (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB): 6.2-20-20-27-6-21.

Nickerson Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): 33-12-16-12-4. LOB: 14.

(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at