The Missouri Valley College baseball team's most difficult campaign since 2000 ended with a win Saturday.
The Vikings split the regular season finale against visiting Heart of America Conference foe Peru State, dropping the first game, 6-3, before taking a 4-1 decision in the nightcap. The young Valley club, which at one point dropped 16 straight games, didn't qualify for the HAAC Post-season Tournament.
The Bobcats broke a 1-1 tie in the opener with three runs in the top of the second inning, which began with an error. Senior Brendon Gentry doubled in the runner and, after a pair of walks loaded the bases, scored on senior Jonathan Castillo's single. A grounder plated the frame's third run.
Senior Matt Burton doubled and scored on senior Zach Walden's sacrifice fly for a Viking run in the fourth, but Peru State scored during its next two at-bats -- on a Castillo single in the fifth and error following senior Jeff Eubank's lead-off double in the sixth.
Freshman Josh Felz singled in a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Valley wasn't able to get the tying run to the plate.
The Vikings never trailed in the late contest, scoring twice in the bottom of the first on singles by junior Troy Langan, freshman Alex Lator and senior Deante Bernstine -- capped by Burton's two-out double.
Sophomore Aubrey Dezarn singled in a Bobcat run in the third, but Valley added two insurance runs in the fifth. Lator doubled with one out, with an error and single by senior Geread Filippi loading the bases for Burton -- who drove in two with his second double of the game.
That was enough for junior starter Shamus Riley, who went six innings for his first win. After yielding a one-out single in the top of the seventh, Riley gave way to junior Brandon Cooper, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam for the save.
Peru State (31-16, 15-11 HAAC) finished fourth in the league standings and will take part in the tournament, which starts Wednesday at St. Joseph.
The Vikings (7-41-1, 7-15) closed the season by winning three of their last four HAAC contests.