A change is brewing in Puyallup baseball.
The Vikings, with an offensive barrage, blew by city rival Rogers, 11-2, on Friday night at Heritage Field in a Class 4A South Puget Sound League South game.
“This is our team now — we want to win our own state title,” Puyallup ace Chris Micheles said. “We’ve lost a lot of big players from last year with (Brendan) Illies and (Zach) Needham gone. No one’s left from the team that won state.”
Micheles, a 2015 second-team All-American, earned the win, finishing with eight strikeouts over six innings.
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Most members of the Vikings team that took home the Class 4A state trophy two years ago are gone.
Yet, this season’s team has a similar feel to it.
“He (Puyallup coach Marc Wiese) gets his guys to play championship baseball every game,” said Rogers coach Matt Whitehead.
Puyallup (6-3) demonstrated that championship form in the second inning when the Vikings scored nine runs and sent 14 batters to the plate.
After the starter for Rogers (4-5), Jacob Stone, got the leadoff hitter out, Puyallup loaded the bases on consecutive singles before an error gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead.
After loading the bases again, Riley Pletcher roped a bases-clearing single. Two batters later, Ryan Peterson scorched a two-run double down the line. Collin Wolf brought in the inning’s final runs with a double and Puyallup led 9-0.
“I really like this ballclub, and I like the chance of us getting better,” Wiese said.
The way the Vikings are scoring might be different this year, but the results have been similar as the state’s No. 4-ranked team, according to MaxPreps, continues its dominance in the SPSL South.
Rogers chipped away at Puyallup’s lead in the fourth when Jorge Lopez reached on an error, then was driven in by a Jacob Stone single.
Kaiden Hammond knocked in Rogers’ second run with a double, but the Rams third baseman was tagged out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
“Those two runs stung a little. We don’t like giving up runs anytime,” Micheles said. “We want to put teams away with by as many runs as we can.”
Translation: no mercy from the Vikings.