Cape eyes Caravel in baseball title game today: Little rest for Vikings after 10-inning semifinal

WILMINGTON — After a 10-inning affair, there isn’t much time for the Cape Henlopen High baseball team to recover.

The Vikings had one day of rest and practice, and now comes the final game of the season.

Mother Nature did give Cape another unexpected day off when Sunday’s state championship was rained out – although the Vikings did still have to make the long drive from Lewes to Wilmington and back.

Finally, Cape Henlopen (18-3), the tournament’s fourth seed, will take on second-seeded Caravel Academy (17-2) today at 6 p.m. in the DIAA state championship. The game will be played at Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium.

The Vikings were pushed to the brink by 17th-seeded Dover High on Friday. The 10-inning game lasted three hours and 57 minutes before Cape rallied after being down to its last strike for a 6-5 walkoff win.

“Both teams were physically dead,” said Cape Henlopen coach Ben Evick. “My guys were dragging. You hit a point in a four-hour game and it was so hot to start. But no one quit, either team, and we got lucky and came out on top.”

Obviously all those innings took a toll on the Vikings’ pitching.

But they still have the guy they want on the mound available for today. David Erickson, Cape’s senior ace and a Liberty University signee, will start, Evick said.

Erickson started in Cape’s semifinal victory over Appoquinimink and threw 100 pitches in five innings on Wednesday. He has enough days of rest to be eligible to pitch today.

“We’ve got our No. 1 and he’s going to be ready to go,” Evick said.

Austin Elliott and Mason Fluharty, who both pitched multiple innings on Friday, are ineligible due to DIAA pitch-count regulations. Jake Gelof, who got the final out in the 10th before Cape’s rally to pick up the win, is available in relief.

This is the Vikings’ first state title appearance since 2015. Two players — Elliott and Zack Gelof, this year’s state Player of the Year — were freshmen starters on that squad, which fell to Appoquinimink.

This is the fifth time Caravel has reached the final game in the last six years. The Buccaneers are defending champions and also won in 2014.

Caravel made it to the finals by knocking off No. 3 seed St. Mark’s 10-6 on Friday night.

It’s only the second ever finals appearance for Cape Henlopen. Caravel meanwhile has reached the title game 10 times.

The two teams did not meet in the regular season this year but did play last season. Caravel won that contest 11-10 by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh.

This Viking group has plenty of big-game experience. The Vikings played 10 state tournament teams in the regular season this season.
Cape Henlopen made it to Frawley Stadium last year when it fell to Conrad in the quarterfinals.

“They’ve been here and they know what the atmosphere is like,” “They’re used to it and our guys have been in the tournament and been in this stadium the last couple of years.”

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