Poor pitching and fielding were too much to overcome as the Southland Vikings lost their fourth-straight game, the latest a 11-4 loss to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen on Tuesday afternoon.
Southland’s struggles started early and were too much to overcome as Tuesday proved to be another poor performance from manager Kevin Frenchetti’s team. “(That was a) tough one,” Franchetti said.
“We had a lot of mental mistakes. I was disappointed to see that, but I should’ve gotten the guys more ready for a morning game.”
The struggles began in the bottom of the first inning when the Oilmen scored three runs. Vikings pitcher Hunter Kraynak loaded the bases after getting the first out on a fly ball when the pitcher allowed a single, walk and hit by pitch. A single, walk and sacrifice fly helped the Oilmen earn three runs before the Vikings got out of the inning.
Northwest Indiana went on to two runs in the third inning and four in the fourth, resulting in a hole that was too much for the Vikings to overcome.
Kraynak finished his day pitching 3 1/3 innings game, allowing nine hits and eight runs — five of which were earned. The right-handed pitcher had pitched 10 innings in four games before Tuesday’s game, having not allowed a run and only allowed three hits.
It was an unusual performance for Kraynak in what was his first of the season since the Vikings pitching staff was bare because of the morning game. The right-hander knows that there is more he can still compete despite the difficult performance.
“I was struggling to get some pitches over, after that I felt like I got more into a groove.” Kraynak said. “Once I got out of that first inning, everything seemed to go well.”
The Vikings committed four errors to add on to their 22 they had before the season. Although Southland is not near the top of the league in errors committed, the mistakes have cost the team from being competitive in games this season.
Kevin Fitzgerald led the way for the Vikings with three hits and two RBIs. Southland will need more offensive power, something Franchetti knows his team will need to do if his team wants to return to the winning side.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had the highs and now we’re running on the lows,” Franchetti said. “You’re going to have those bumps in the road and we need to fix those.”