Game Changer

Vikings lose late lead to end year


While the Southland Vikings (0-2) kept battling back, the wheels came off in the eighth inning as they fell to the DeKalb County Liners (2-0), 13-9, and were swept out of the Midwest Collegiate League Playoffs.

The Vikings quickly found themselves down 3-0 after the top of the first inning, but a James Dawson solo home run in the bottom of the inning made it only 3-1 Liners. In the third, Southland took the lead with a 3-run home run by Dan Potempa. The Liners scored two in the top of the fourth but an RBI single by Micah Rooke tied the game back up at five.

In the sixth inning, the Vikings retook the lead with a solo home run from Elliott Armstrong and scored three more in the seventh thanks to an error as well as 2-run double by Shane Brown. Heading into the eighth, Southland had a 9-5 lead.

But in the top of the eighth inning, Jonathan Rosario (0-1) struggled in relief as the Liners scored five runs off four hits and one error to take a 10-9 lead. Matt Risdon knocked a 3-run home run in the ninth to take extend their lead to 13-9, which ended up being the final score.

While Rosario struggled in the eighth inning, Brandon Duplessis (0-0) was solid on the mound as he gave up three earned runs on 10 hits while striking out seven. Rosario received the loss as Tanner Funke (1-0) picked up the win for the Liners after pitching one inning in relief.

DeKalb outhit Southland 16-9 with Markus Duckworth leading the way, going 3 for 5 with three runs scored and one RBI. Risdon also stepped up for the Liners as he went 3 for 5 with one run scored and five RBIs. They also took advantage of seven Vikings errors.

For Southland, Chris Stevens went 2 for 3 with two runs scored while Dawson went 1 for 4 with three runs scored and one RBI.

With this win, the Liners sweep the Vikings and will now take on the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (2-0) in the MCL Championship Series starting Friday. Southland ends the year with an overall record of 20-25 and will return to action next season.

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