Vikings Sweep MCL Honors for Opening Week

By: Brandon Vickrey

Chicago, Ill. – July 13, 2020 – The good news for the Southland Vikings kept pouring in on Monday after the team won seven of its first nine games during the season’s first stretch.

The Vikings swept the first batch of Midwest Collegiate League weekly honors in 2020 as outfielder Justin Rios (North Central / Lemont, Ill.) was named the league’s Player of the Week and right-handed pitcher Jake Karaba (Lewis / Naperville, Ill.) received the Pitcher of the Week distinction.

Rios edged DuPage County’s Jackson Dvorak to take the award during the opening week after racking up a league-high 15 RBIs. Rios hit for the cycle in four innings on opening day and finished the week with a .371 batting average with five of his 13 hits going for extra bases. The cycle against Crestwood was the first of three multi-hit games for Rios during the season’s first nine days. He helped the Vikings start 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Karaba outdid a quality field of nominees that also featured JohnLuca Moschetto, Jack Guzek and Joe Rotkis. The stat that put Karaba over the top for the Pitcher of the Week award was the eye-popping 19 strikeouts in just 8 2/3 innings. He yielded two runs on five hits and four walks while notching a victory over the three appearances. Opponents are hitting just .156 against Karaba thus far this season.

The MCL will continue to announce weekly awards each Monday throughout the 2020 campaign.  

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