The Vikings moved within one win of the Class 5A, Area 11 crown with a 5-0 win over the Curry Yellow Jackets at Valley Park on Tuesday.
Walker’s victory sets up Thursday’s matchup between the teams at Curry at 4:30 p.m. for the area championship.
“Our destiny is in our hands. That’s all you can ask for,” Walker coach Pat Ware said. “If we win, we’re area champs. If they win, they are area champs and we have to see what happens. This is the position we wanted to be in. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to win the area championship and that’s what we did tonight.”
A Curry win on Thursday coupled with a Mortimer Jordan win over Hayden would leave Walker out of the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets have already earned a spot in the postseason after sweeping both Mortimer Jordan and Hayden.
Curry, which entered Tuesday’s game with a perfect 4-0 area mark, had a chance to lock up the area crown on Tuesday, but fell behind early and never found its groove at the plate against Walker starter Nic Woodley.
Woodley allowed just three hits and a pair of walks over six innings while striking out four.
Walker’s John Michael Knighton struck out the side in the seventh to end the game.
On the offensive side, Walker’s first two hitters reached base in the first and second innings. All four ended up crossing the plate.
“It always helps when you jump out and get an early lead. You can play more aggressive. Our style is to be our in front and be aggressive. That’s what happened tonight,” Ware added.
Walker Lead-off man Eric Vinson reached base all three times Tuesday, scoring two runs and driving in a pair.
Vinson was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. Knighton followed with an RBI triple and he later scored on a wild pitch to give Walker a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, Stone Stephenson walked and Logan Nix doubled to put runners at second and third. Vinson delivered a two-run double with one out as Walker pushed its lead to 4-0.
The Vikings added their final run in the fifth inning. Vinson led off the inning with a single moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a bunt from Knighton and scored on a Quinton McCarty sacrifice fly.
Woodley didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and only two Curry base runners reached second base.
“Nic stepped up for us tonight. He did a great job. To be honest, I think it was one of his best outings he’s had over the last three years. He did exactly what we expected from him when we gave him the ball. He’s one of our leaders.”
For Walker (18-11 overall, 3-2 in area play), Vinson was 2-for-2, Logan Nix was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, Knighton was 1-for-3 and Stephenson was 1-for-1.
Curry’s Houston Harbin was 2-for-3. Aron Benson had the other hit.
On the mound, Lane Oliver suffered the loss for Curry. He pitched one inning and faced two batters in the second inning before being removed for Harbin.
Oliver gave up two hits, two walks and hit a batter, allowing four runs while striking out one. Harbin pitched five solid innings of relief, giving up four hits, one walk and one run while striking out three.
On Thursday, Walker will throw Knighton (7-1) against Curry.
Knighton has allowed two earned runs on the season.