Vikings Walked-Off By Generals For Second Time This Week

By: Brandon Januska

Griffith, Ind. – August 2, 2023 – The Southland Vikings are locked into third place in the Northern League standings after falling to the Griffith Generals 5-4 in walk-off fashion on Wednesday evening in Griffith. This was the second time in the last four days that the Generals walked off the Vikings.

It was a bullpen day for Southland as they looked to keep their players fresh for the upcoming playoffs using seven different pitchers in the 11-inning defeat.

The game was a pitcher’s duel throughout the first nine innings as the Vikings allowed just an unearned run in the first and offensively they stranded runners on the bases throughout the game, but finally tied the score with two outs in the top of the ninth when Jack Fitzharris scored on a wild pitch.

The ninth inning run prevented the Vikings from being shutout for the first time this season as they remain the only team in the league to score in every game this year.

Drama ensued as the game went into extra innings after the Generals left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

The teams opted to start each extra inning frame with a runner at second base, just like they did on Sunday.

In the top of the tenth, the Vikings loaded the bases with the free runner and a pair of walks and then received their first clutch hit of the ballgame when Jorgie Vazquez came through with a two run double to give the Vikings a 3-1 lead.

Vazquez took over on the mound in the bottom of the inning to try and close the game out, but the Generals continued to fight as Mark Ross cut the lead to one with an RBI single and then scored after Max Waszkiewicz hit an RBI single of his own after the Generals were down to their final strike.

The game would move to the eleventh tied at three and the Vikings would then retake the lead after scoring a run on an error by the Generals. It would prove to not be enough, however, as the Generals loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame and won the game on a walk-off two-run single from Max Hensler, who was 0-for-5 on the day going into the final at-bat.

The loss for the Vikings combined with the Oilmen winning on Wednesday means that the Oilmen will be the second seed in the playoffs with the Vikings in the third seed.

Despite the loss, manager Sullivan Stickann was thrilled by the way the Vikings pitched as all seven pitchers were effective.

“Even though we lost today, we did a lot of good things,” Stickann said after the game. “We hit the ball hard and we threw great. That’s all you could want going into the playoffs.”

The Vikings will wrap up the regular season on Thursday with a playoff preview against the Oilmen at 7:10pm from Oil City Stadium. The two teams will then play each other in the first round of the playoffs starting on Saturday in a best of three series.

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