For the duration of Steve Bushnell’s 21 seasons at the helm of Seaman’s baseball program, his Vikings have been a gold standard. And now there’s even more gold to add to their collection.
The Vikings claimed their second consecutive, and ninth overall, 5A championship last Saturday with a 13-1 five-inning victory over longtime postseason nemesis St. Thomas Aquinas in Wichita on Saturday.
Brilliant pitching from the deep Vikings staff showed the way to another state crown, as three Viking hurlers combined to allow just three runs over the course of the tournament.
In the first game, the Vikings only managed one run on a Trent Cox RBI single, but it was all they would need as Hunter Hesseltine blanked Arkansas City in a 1-0 thriller. The semifinal against previously unbeaten Bishop Carroll was delayed a full day by rain after two scoreless innings, but Seaman returned to the field the next day and touched up Carroll’s ace in a four-run fourth inning and Kolby Dougan kept the Golden Eagles at bay in a 6-2 triumph.
For the final, Seaman turned to Parker Wildeman on the mound. He tossed three shut-out innings to start the game, and in the top of the fourth the Viking offense got rolling. Five hits, two walks, a hit by pitch, a sac fly, and a wild pitch produced seven runs, with Hesseltine’s three-run triple the big blow. The Vikings tacked on six more runs in the top of the fifth and eased to victory as Wildeman finished off a three-hitter.
WIBW’s Dan Lucero spoke with Bushnell about his team’s championship run.