The Southland Vikings fell victim to what helped them win their first two games of the season: high scoring.
Vikings pitching fell victim to hot DuPage County Hounds bats and Southland couldn’t force a comeback in its 12-9 loss Friday.
Southland’s pitching staff fell into a good rhythm in the team’s first three games of the season, but inconsistency at the beginning was too much for the Vikings to fight back from.
“Not as planned,” interim manager Alex Triantafillo said. “The atmosphere was good to start, but then, I noticed they were too loose. That’s what hurt us. We had a lot of mental mistakes.”
Brandon Thomas got the start for the Vikings and things didn’t start well. The Hounds scored four runs in the top of the first when Thomas walked three straight batters and hit a Hound with the bases loaded. DuPage added a single and double, respectively, to add three more runs.
Things didn’t get much better for Thomas in the third when he allowed seven runs, all earned. The Hounds continued to pile on after Thomas allowed a single and hit a batter to start the inning. DuPage went through the lineup once during the top frame.
Southland’s relievers managed to calm the storm, only allowing a run after Thomas left the game, but at that point, the damage had been done.
“When you walk seven or eight, you can’t do that in this league,” Triantafillo said. “If you make mistakes, they’re going to take advantage.”
Despite the early hole, the Vikings showed their gritty nature and continued to fight back. Southland scored three runs in the bottom of the first after DuPage scored its first four runs. The Vikings added three runs in the fifth and continued to push the deficit until it was too late at the end.
First baseman Jamal Martin led the way for Southland with four hits, one of two players who finished with more than one hit. The Vikings left 12 runners on base, veering away from the productive situational hitting from the previous two days.
“I really figured it out the last game,” Martin said. “I’m trying to keep everything simple.”
Although the Vikings struggled to fight back completely, Triatafillo was happy with his team’s determination to keep on fighting.
“They don’t quit,” Triantafillo said. “They want to go out there and compete. If you leave it all out there on the field, you will never feel like you’ll be cheated.”