Vikings Suffer Second Straight Loss In Walk Off Fashion

By: Jack Theil

Whiting, Ind. - July 11, 2020 - The Vikings and Oilmen have had themselves a back and forth rivalry for years. Saturday night was just another example of how great this rivalry is. In the first matchup between the two, the Vikings saw themselves win 9-4. The Oilmen would flip the switch in a back and forth game as the Oilmen would walk it off at Oil City Stadium and win the game 4-3. 

Jake Karaba (Lewis/Naperville, Ill.) got the start for the Vikings and didn't disappoint. Karaba would see himself go through the Oilmen lineup with ease in the first four innings. The bottom of the fifth, the Oilmen were able to hit Karaba and tie the game at 2-2.

“He was going fine and going strong, he got a little flat in the fifth inning,” Vikings manager Dave Letourneau. “He’s so good at bouncing back, and finding it. He left the pitch up, the pitch selection wasn’t ideal and found a way out of the fifth so ten out of ten times even with him giving up those two runs I don’t take him out of the game.”

Both teams saw themselves go scoreless for two innings. The top of the eight would be the inning the Vikings needed. After Anthony Rios (Lewis/Naperville, Ill.) walked to begin the inning. Kellen Quigley (Webster/Bolingbrook, Ill.) singled up the middle scoring Rios from second, having the Vikings take a 3-2 lead.

Letourneau went to his bullpen, bringing in Anthony Rogers (Concordia/Lombard, Ill.) to keep the lead. The Oilmen used a walk and two singles to tie the game. Rogers was able to keep minimal damage and let Justin Rios (North Central/Lemont, Ill.) take over on the mound with two outs. Rios was left in the bottom of the eight with no more runs given up setting up a tie game going to the ninth inning.

The Vikings would go one, two, three in the top of ninth, hoping they’d get another at bat in extra innings. Rios continued pitching for the Vikings, trying to extend the game. Rio saw himself get two quick outs. After walking two straight batters and putting a runner in scoring position, the Oilmen took advantage and walked off to win the game.

“He was too amped up, he got the last out in the eighth,” Vikings manager Dave Letourneau said. “He gets their four and five hitters out quick and I think he got amped up. In a game like this tension rises and emotions are high and he was too amped up. In that situation you have to stay focused, stay within yourself. You have to bear down and with two outs and nobody on, that walk always comes back to haunt you. Two walks in the game is what hurt us in the end.”

The Vikings lost their second consecutive game after starting the season 6-0. This creating a possible bounce back momentum boost for the Vikings.

“Just have to bounce back, in a game like this emotions are high,” Vikings manager Dave Letourneau said. “We basically look at these guys like our rival. Emotions ride high against this team you just gotta wash and come back ready to go.”

The Vikings return to action Sunday, July 12 as they travel to Howie Minas Field in Midlothian, Ill. to take on the MCL Minutemen. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 P.M. and you can watch the game on the Minutemen Facebook page via Facebook Live. Jack Theil alongside Ryan Zimmerman will have the call for the game.

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