"We're starting to play a lot better," Casto said. "Here lately we've beaten some pretty good teams. [The Hoover win] was huge for us, especially considering a week and a half before they beat us 14-0 and two-hit us. Hopefully we're starting to click at the right time and maybe we'll make some noise with these young fellas."
Capital coach Robert Massey was waiting on his team to make any noise at all on Wednesday and it just never came. Credit Massey for telling his team to yell for Jacob Williams to "break up the no-no" the pitch before he did just that to lead off the seventh.
Still, it was far too little, too late, and now the Cougars (13-18) will fight for their playoff lives at Riverside today and likely face Warriors ace Tyler Hall.
"You go in this and you look that you might not have to face Tyler Hall if you win tonight but we dug ourselves a hole," Massey said. "Now we're [probably] going to have to face Tyler Hall. I've said he's the best player in the section and I'm going to stand by that. We got one-hit today and he could no-hit us tomorrow. He's that good.
"I've told our guys all year that we just need to make routine plays, we didn't do that tonight - we've got to get guys on, we didn't do that either - you just can't win."
The Vikings, who Casto bragged, "finally have five kids that can drive," are starting to dare to dream big. After entering the postseason basically playing with house money, why not?
"We're starting to click at the right time," McCoy said. "I think we've got a good chance. We can go a long way this year."
Pittenger wasn't so reserved with his prediction.
"I'm going to states," he said.
Trevor Tucker went 3 for 4 and Chris Jordan added a pair of hits for Ripley. Koontz finished 2 for 2 with an RBI.
The Vikings will play at Riverside at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.