Hammond, Ind. - August 3, 2020 - The Vikings (15-13) struggled in the past week, 2-6 in the last eight games and three blown leads after the seventh inning. The Northwest Indiana Oilmen (18-8) entered with a five game win streak including a walk-off win against the Vikings Thursday night. Bullpen pitching and clutch hitting proved to be the key in the Vikings 4-2 win.
The Oilmen gained an early lead in the first inning after scoring two quick runs. Bases loaded and no outs, the Oilmen weren’t able to advance anymore runners leaving the bases loaded with two runs scored.
Jacob Kampf (Heartland/Lockport, Ill.) who struggled in the first inning on the mound, got into a rhythm and shut the Oilmen down. After getting out of the bases-loaded jam in the first inning, Kampf kept the Oilmen from scoring in the next four innings of work. His day finished at four innings, five hits, two runs, six strikeouts, and lowered his ERA to 5.12.
“I was scheduled today and with how good the Oilmen are I wanted this game, Rocco gave me the go and I just acted like this was another game,” Kampf said. “Rough start, but the wind was blowing hard so I just tried to throw strikes and it is what it was but I was able to bounce back. I was able to get into a rhythm after that first inning and I just want to go out there and throw the ball when I’m in a rhythm.”
2-0 Oilmen entering the sixth inning, the Vikings sought for runs before it was too late. Dashon Moore (Southern Illinois/South Holland, Ill.) with one out was hit by a pitch, Dylan Robertson (Iowa Western/Downers Grove, Ill.) drew a walk, and Matt Monahan (St. Xavier/New Lenox, Ill.) singled to left field loading the bases with one out. Logan Anderson (South Suburban/Frankfort, Ill.) lined a ball to right field scoring Moore, Robertson, and Monahan for a three RBI triple, his ninth RBI of the year and a 3-2 lead.
“Mindset is the same as every other day, we’re kids, we have jobs so we just try to have fun when we play,” Anderson said. “I just have been focusing on my hands, trying to stay inside and not do too much at the plate. Feels great going into the eighth inning, the last three games they’ve come back and won so there were some jitters but when we were able to turn the double play that inning I felt like we were all relaxed and confident.”
Nathan Jendraszkiewicz (1-0) (Lakeland/Oswego, Ill.) relieved Kampf, came in the sixth inning and worked in the seventh, giving up no runs, one strikeout, and one hit.
An insurance run was added in the seventh inning with consecutive singles by Nick McAlister (Southern Illinois/Homewood, Ill.) and Chris McDevitt (Indiana State/Chicago, Ill.), McAlister advanced to third on McDevitt’s single. Moore singled to right field scoring McAlister extending the lead to 4-2.
Mike Tobin (Concordia/Palos Hills, Ill.) came in the eighth inning for the six out save and was successful. Tobin threw two innings giving up two hits, zero runs, one strikeout, and recorded his sixth save of the year helping the Vikings win 4-2.
“Our bullpen was huge today and that’s been the problem this past week,” Vikings manager Rocco Mossuto said. “We beat a great team and our offense was slow at first but came up big late in the game along with the bullpen.”
The Vikings next game is Tuesday, August 4 against the Joliet Generals (4-20). The game is at Dowling Park located in Hammond, Ind. and the first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The broadcast will be available on the Southland Vikings Facebook page via Facebook Live. Jack Theil alongside Alex Coil will have the call for the game.