ST. PETERSBURG — The last electrifying moment of Monday night came down to Northeast’s Drew Vimond, a player who has the flair for the dramatic.
Vimond stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with the game against Sunlake tied at 2. He saw a fastball come in high and inside.
“My pitch,” Vimond said.
He jumped on it, smacking a ball that went back and sailed over the left-centerfield wall. The dugout went bananas as players rushed on to the field to greet Vimond after his walkoff solo home run lifted the Vikings to a 3-2 victory in the semifinals of the Northeast Tournament.
The Vikings will face the winner of tonight’s semifinal between Clearwater and Mitchell in Wednesday’s championship game.
“It was just such a rush to get that kind of hit in that situation,” Vimond said. “I’ve never hit a walkoff homer before.”
It was the second straight game Vimond had the winning hit. In Saturday’s quarterfinals he hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the eighth of the 3-2 victory over Lakeland Kathleen.
“Drew has just been clutch lately,” Northeast coach Rob Stanifer said. “Not too many kids get walkoff hits and he’s had two in a row. He’s really been putting in the work.”
The Vikings (10-6) jumped ahead 2-0 in the first inning. Angelo Terrasi doubled then came home on a single by Sean Anderson. An error allowed Anderson to score from first.
Sunlake chipped away at the lead, scoring once in the fourth inning as Mike Mateyka singled in Zac Scranton. In the sixth inning, the Seahawks’ David Castillo doubled and scored the tying run off a double by Alex Anderson.
That set up Vimond’s heroics.
“I was just hoping that hit would sail enough over the fence to be a home run,” Vimond said. “I was peeking a little bit as I was rounding first base. I saw it go in the parking lot, and I knew it was over.”