By: Jack Theil
Midlothian, Ill. - July 12, 2020 - Coming into Sunday’s matchup with the Minutemen (1-6), Vikings (7-2) were on a two game losing streak after starting the season 6-0. The first matchup between the two teams, the Vikings escaped with a 7-6 win. Sunday’s battle was back and forth, showcasing pitching, hitting, and fielding for both teams. The Vikings were victorious at the end, winning 5-4.
The Vikings started the game hot. Dashon Moore (Illinois-Springfield/South Holland, Ill.) reached on an error, allowing Justin Rios (North Central/Lemont, Ill.) to get an at-bat with a runner on. Rios lined a double to right putting runners on the third and second. Jake Schroeder (Northern Illinois/Flossmoor, Ill.) put a ball in play to left field, it’d be caught but Moore would tag up and put the Vikings on the board 1-0. Kellen Quigley (Webster/Bolingbrook, Ill.) found a gap on the right side of the field and scored Rios as the Vikings extended their lead to 2-0.
“We did it yesterday when we were up 2-0, we need to do a better job,” Vikings manager Dave Letourneau said. “I keep telling them we need to add on and have some insurance runs. We need to do a better job of adding more runs so it can create separation on us at the end.”
The Minutemen came right back with their own runs after scoring one run in the bottom of the second and two runs in the bottom of the third taking the lead for the first time 3-2.
Viking’s responded to the two run third from the Minutemen with their own. Chris McDevitt (Indiana State/Chicago, Ill.) grounded to second base but there would be an error on the throw allowing Logan Anderson (South Suburban/Frankfort, Ill.) to score tying the game 3-3. Dylan Roberston (Iowa Western/Downers Grove, Ill.) provided the Vikings with another run after hitting it to right, scoring McDevitt making the game 4-3 Vikings.
Letourneau signaled to his bullpen and brought in Nick Heiden (Webster/Burbank, Ill.) who had one previous appearance. Heiden would see himself have a successful appearance after only giving up one run in four innings keeping the game tied.
The top of the sixth, the Vikings found themselves on the scoreboard again after McDevitt grounded out scoring Anderson making it 4-3 Vikings.
Heiden stepped on the mound for two more innings after regaining the lead, he saw both innings go one two three. Heiden’s final line was four innings, three hits, two strikeouts and received the win.
“Dave texted me last night, said hey we need to bounce back and he was saying hey lets go,” Heiden said. “I’ve been put in those types of situations for years, since high school I was always the guy that came in and closed. I told Dave in the beginning of the year and told him to put me in whenever you want, I’m fine with only throwing three pitches as long as we win.”
Joseph Tor (South Suburban/Lockport, Ill.) continued his stellar 2020 season with one inning of work in the bottom of the eighth. Tor made quick work and kept the lead for the Vikings heading to the ninth.
“I love Joe, his fastball and changeup combo is worth being in late games,” Letourneau said. “Two times this year he’s gotten out of bases loaded jams, and he’s just a gamer.”
Hoping to keep the lead, and end the losing streak for the Vikings. Mike Tobin (Concordia/ Palos Hills, Ill.) stepped in trying to record his second save of the year. Tobin started the inning by giving up a leadoff double, and single. The Minutemen would have runners on third and second with one out. Tobin stuck with his routine of pitches, recording a strike out and ground out. Stranding a runner on third and helping the Vikings win their seventh game.
“I just threw strikes, that’s all you got to do as a pitcher and hope they hit them to your teammates.” Tobin said. “When I’m on the mound, I’m locked in looking for the catcher's glove to throw and hope it goes my way. I can go out there with no fear, the coach gives me confidence that helps me succeed on the mound.”
The Vikings return to home in their next game Monday, July 13. They face the DuPage County Hounds (5-2) at Dowling Park, Hammond, Ind. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. and Will Trubshaw alongside Thomas Gorski will have the call for the game. You can watch the game on the Southland Viking’s Facebook page via Facebook Live.
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