By: Will Trubshaw
On Tuesday two of the best in the MCL battled in a rescheduled doubleheader, each winning a game in the process.
The Vikings squared off against the Bloomington Bobcats in a battle of two teams in a virtual tie atop the Midwest Collegiate League Standings. The Bobcats (9-5) would emerge victorious in extras as they took the first game 4-3. However, the Vikings (8-4) responded in Game 2 with a 5-2 win.
Game 1 started off well for the Vikings, when Logan Anderson (South Suburban College) followed up a Dashon Moore double (Univeristy of Illinois-Springfield) with an RBI single to put the Vikings up 1-0 in the first.
The Bobcats would respond with three in the bottom half of the first to take the lead that they would hang on to until the seventh inning. The Vikings, after tacking another run in the second, still trailed going in to the final inning of play. (It should be noted that the teams agreed to play two seven inning games for the doubleheader, as opposed to regular 9 inning games).
With one out, Moore poked a ground ball in to left that allowed the speedy Michael Marseille (Lake Land College) to score from second on a pinch run.
With the game tied at 3-3, Dave Letourneau sent out Mike Tobin (Concordia Unviersity Chicago) to hold the fort. Tobin was excellent in the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth three hits loaded the bases, including a would-have-been double play ball that ricocheted off the mound to Moore, whose only play was to first. The throw was late by near nanoseconds, but with the bags full Tobin hit the next batter with a pitch to walk in the winning run as the Bobcats walked it off in eight innings.
“It was just one of those things, bases loaded one out and he gets the line drive to right and it looks like he’s going to get out of it,” Letourneau said. “The pitch got away, and he hit the guy, and game over. You know what, he bounced back in the next game.”
It wasn’t just Tobin, but the entire Vikings lineup that bounced back in game two. After being held without a hit their first time through the order the Vikings pushed a run across in the fourth on a Jake Schroeder fielder’s choice.
In the fifth, they blew their lead wide open by scoring three to go up 4-0. The Bobcats would get one back in the fifth to make it 4-1, but an error in the seventh allowed PJ Raines (Santa Rosa Junior College) to score from third and cement the Vikings 5-1 lead.
Trey Ricko (Univeristy of Tennessee-Martin) came in and closed the door in the seventh, allowing one run while striking out two as the Vikings split the double header and won for the eighth time in their last nine games.
While the loss in the first game brought the Vikings seven-game win streak to an end, Letourneau was impressed with the resilience from his team in the second game.
“These guys are mentally strong, and they understand they’re a winning team. These guys can’t wait to get back at it and start a new streak,” Letourneau said.
Barring more rain, the Vikings will begin building upon their latest win Wednesday in Midlothian, when they take on the Crestwood Panthers.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Howie Minas Field. Jon Zaglouhl and Will Trubshaw will have the call on the Crestwood Panthers and Southland Vikings broadcast networks
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