After falling to the Lexington Snipes in three straight Midwest Collegiate League games, the Vikings were desperately seeking for a win Friday night against the DuPage County Hounds.
Left-handed pitcher Aaron Hauge was Southland’s answer to their recent struggles.
A Homewood native and 2010 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Hauge was more than comfortable pitching at Viking Field which is located on the campus of H-F High School.
Hauge has made his mark in college and with Southland by way of striking out batters by the bunches, and that proved true again Friday as he struck out five Hounds through six scoreless innings on the hill.
“I had it all going tonight, and it also helps me more than you can imagine when our offense puts up runs like they did in the game,” Hauge said.
The Vikings first put a tally on the scoreboard by way of a left-center field blast off the bat of third baseman John Livingston, his first home run of the season and a no-doubter when the ball left the batters box.
There wasn’t much action after the Livingston round tripper as both Hauge and opposing starter Steve Hellenbach were cruising through each respective lineup, posting zeros with ease.
That is until the bottom half of the fifth inning when the wheels fell off for Hellenbach and pitcher Kyle Dermady called upon in relief by head coach Sean Osborne.
A mixture of walks, errors, and timely hitting headlined by RBI singles by Chris Stevens and Steve Letz led to a six run fifth for the Vikings which was more than enough for Hauge and the rest of the pitching staff that saw action behind him.
Relieving Hauge were pitchers Evan Nietfeldt, Alex Lesiak, and Anthony Andres closing the door on the Hounds by each pitching a hitless inning in the shutout.
With the win the Vikings move to 5-4 on the season, currently sitting in fourth place of the MCL.
The Hounds fall to 5-2 and are one half game behind the Northwest Indiana Oilmen for second place in the division.
Southland hopes to make it two in a row tonight at home against the Chicago Zephyrs (0-6), first pitch at 7 p.m.