Vikings Use Explosive Offense To Get Past Hounds

By: Jack Theil

Dyer, Ind. - July 18, 2020 - Entering Saturday’s matchup, the Vikings (10-5) came in with a two game losing streak. Their opponent the Dupage County Hounds (9-4) sat atop first place in the MCL standings. The offense for the Vikings looked for a spark as it stranded 16 runners on base in Thursday’s loss. Four home runs helped the Vikings secure a 14-8 win to stay in the hunt for first.

Hound’s were the first team to strike as they used a walk and two singles to load the bases. A single with one out and a walk with two outs would give the Hounds two runs taking an early 2-0 lead.

The Vikings came right back with their own run in the top of the third with a Jacob Kampf (Heartland/Lockport, Ill.) double to lead off the inning. Dashon Moore (Illinois-Springfield/South Holland, Ill.) repeated Kampf’s at-bat with a double of his own, scoring Kampf, cutting the deficit to 2-1 Hounds.

The offense continued for the Vikings in the fourth, after a Luke Napleton (Quincy/La Grange, Ill.) walk and Nick McAlister (Southern Illinois/Homewood, Ill.) double, there were runners on third and second with one out. Kampf grounded out to third scoring Napleton and advancing McAlister to third tying the game at 2-2. Kellen Quigley (Webster/Bolingbrook, Ill.) ripped a double to right field, scoring McAlister for the first Vikings' lead 3-2.

“Especially after last night, we came out swinging the bats and making great contact,” Vikings manager Dave Letourneau said. “Spraying the field, you look at the home runs, staying through the baseball for the whole game we played a complete game at the plate.”

The Viking’s brought more runs to the scoreboard in the fifth inning. After walk’s by Moore and Chris Miller (Heartland/Plainfield, Ill.), Anthony Rios (Lewis/Lemont, Ill.) singled to shortstop scoring Moore to add on to the Viking lead 4-2. Jake Schroeder (Northern Illinois/Flossmoor, Ill.) followed with a single. Napleton scorched a ball over the center fielders head for a two run home run, his first of the year. The Vikings extended their lead to 7-2.

“It’s good, it’s good to start hitting the ball well, I had a slow start but it’s good to start hitting the ball,” Napleton said. “It gives me more confidence and helps me throughout the season.”

Already up 7-2 in the seventh inning, the Vikings didn’t hold back by scoring more runs. Jason Reis (Illinois Wesleyan/Highland, Ind.) reached on an error, A.Rios would follow with a walk putting runners on second and first and no outs. Schroeder got a hold of a baseball and hit a no doubt three run home run to center field adding to the Vikings total 10-2.

The Hound’s didn’t go away just yet, after being down 10-2, the Hounds added one run in the seventh and five runs in the eighth cutting the deficit to 10-8 Vikings.

With the Hound’s lurking from behind trying to come back, the Viking’s looked for more of a cushion in the ninth inning. A.Rios drew a leadoff walk bringing up Schroeder to bat. Schroeder got a hold of another baseball hitting his second home run of the day, with a two run home run to left field giving the Vikings a 12-8 lead. Schroder recorded two home runs, five RBI’s, and three hits. The hit party wasn’t done yet for the Vikings, Dylan Robertson (Iowa Western/Downers Grove, Ill.) continued the hitting spree with an infield single. Napleton, who already homered in a previous at-bat, recorded his second home run of the game driving the ball to centerfield for a two run home run.

“It’s always a confidence booster having a good day, having good days and having balls falling out of the park or in the park,” Schroeder said. “It’s a great feeling the Hound’s have great players, but it’s awesome to out hit a team like that. It’s a big win to bounce back, you just have to keep the same mindset and mentality every game. It’s a long season, 47 games, so you always have to come ready to play.”

Mike Tobin (Concordia/Palos Hills, Ill.) who entered in the eighth, returned in the ninth to secure a Vikings win. Tobin stalled the Hounds from any scoring keeping the game at 14-8 Vikings for their 10th win of the year.

“They know what they need to do to win, in order to take care of business,” Letourneau said. “They knew they had to come to the park and came back with a win and they just did that.

The Vikings will end their three game road trip Sunday, July 19 as they face the Crestwood Panthers. The game will take place at Old Timers Sports Complex located in Lansing, Ill. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and you can watch the game on the Crestwood Panthers Facebook page via Facebook Live. Jon Zaghloul alongside Jack Theil will have the call for the game.

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