By: Kasey Salamie Southland Vikings Contributor. The Southland Vikings (8-4, overall, 6-3, in the MCL) will take on the Michigan City Lakers on Thursday night. Southland is riding a three-game win streak going into tonights matchup. During the win the streak the Vikings have had some great performances by their starting pitchers and timely hitting. The Vikings played the Lakers in their first game of the season and routed them 9-0 behind strong pitching from lefty Stanten Jones. Vikings manager Chris Cunningham will send powerful right-hander Dave Nelson to the hill. Nelson will look to pound the strike zone with all of his pitches. The pitch that has helped him succeed this season is the cutter. The cutter has become an increasingly popular pitch in Major League Baseball and all levels of baseball. The reason it is popular is simple. To the hitter the cutter appears to be a fastball until it darts away from the spot they are expecting. Usually cutters have just enough movement to avoid the sweet spot of the bat. Not only has Nelson pitched well for the Vikings but he is also leading the team with a .429 batting average. Vikings second basemen James Dawson will look to continue his hot hitting. He looks incredibly relaxed at the plate and his numbers are showing that. Entering tonights game he is hitting .407. Dawson hit a long homerun against Will County Crackerjacks starter Stephen Taylor, who is considered one of the Midwest Collegiate Leagues top pitchers. Vikings outfielder Dontrell Rush, who was recently drafted by the Chicago White Sox, is carrying a .364 batting average into tonights game. Rush has that speed and gap to gap power that every coach looks for. First pitch is slated to be at 7 PM at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
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