Vikings, Flashes head into playoffs on a roll

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 26, 2010

When the proverbial dust settled after Friday’s 10-3 victory over Vicksburg, Warren Central was left standing as Division 4-6A champions.

Across town, reigning Class 1A champion St. Aloysius got a feel-good victory with a 12-2 run-rule thrashing of Mize to get a boost going into the playoffs.

The victories can only help with the travails that lie ahead.

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The Vikings (15-12) host DeSoto Central (10-11) in the first game of an opening-round playoff series on Friday. Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be Saturday at DeSoto Central and Game 3, if needed, is at Viking Field next Monday.

Against Vicksburg, WC got a big boost from an offense that scored 10 runs or more for the third consecutive game. Dylan Wooten blasted a three-run homer and Clayton Ashley added a two-run shot to pace the rout.

“He hits really well in the clutch,” WC coach Josh Abraham said of Wooten. “No doubt, the two swings from him and Ashley got us a good lead and that gave (pitcher Jay) Harper a lot of confidence on the mound.”

St. Al, on the other hand, finished second in its division and has to hit the road for the first round. The Flashes (14-6) will play at Edinburg on Friday at 6 p.m., with Game 2 following at Bazinsky Field on Saturday. Game 3, if needed, will be at Edinburg on May 3.

The Flashes have to face the ace of aces, Edinburg’s Mitchell Wooten, who has a 0.83 ERA and has yielded just 12 hits in 11 outings.

“He’s the real deal,” St. Al coach Clint Wilkerson said. “He’s a guy that can top 90 mph and has a changeup that goes down to 72 mph. He can throw three pitches for strikes and that’s not something you see too often in high school baseball.”

The Flashes will get back Ryno Martin-Nez, both as a hitter and as a pitcher. Last week, the senior returned to practice and was throwing in the bullpen after tweaking his surgically repaired knee. His power arm, even in a few innings of relief, could be the critical difference in a tight three-game set.

Contact Steve Wilson at