Posted: Apr 08, 2020
Back on March 12 at 5:47pm in the bottom of the 10th inning, pinch-hitter Tyler Schrader ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle to drive in the winning run to cap an epic West Valley comeback and give the Vikings a 6-5 win over Chabot.
After Schrader's walkoff single and the ensuing right field Viking dogpile, WVC Head Coach Rick Wiens walked through the quickly-fading light into the Viking dugout without knowing the season was suddenly over just 22 games into the season.
It was West Valley's 10th win in 13 games and moved the Vikings to within two games of the Coast-North lead. Under arguably the best coaching job in Wiens' nine years at the Viking helm, the 2020 Vikings were on a roll and that final mid-March game will forever be a part of Valhalla lore.
Since taking over the West Valley program in 2012, 58 of Wiens' players have transferred to a four-year school. He's produced 24 All-Coast players, four All-Americans, three All-NorCal players, a pair of Coast Gold Glove Award winners and the 2015 Coast Most Valuable Player, Billy Mullins.
The Viking offense has been heavily impacted since Wiens joined the WVC staff as an assistant in the 2006-2007 season. Most notably, the 2008 WVC squad hit a staggering .328 on the season. The 2008 Vikings also blasted 19 home runs and stole 98 bases. WVC outfielder Jason Codiroli was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 19th round after the 2008 season.
Coach Wiens, a San Jose native, attended Pioneer High School, where he was an all-league outfielder in 1995. He began his college career as an All-State outfielder at De Anza in 1997, hitting .435 with eight home runs and an amazing 29 stolen bases in 29 attempts. His playing career continued at Arizona State, a team that went to the College World Series in 1998. He transferred to the University of Nevada-Reno in 1999, where he helped lead the Wolfpack to the NCAA Regionals.
With the specifics of the 2021 season unknown, one certainty is there will be excitement at Valhalla, one of the finest facilities in California, with Rick Wiens in charge.