Hammond, Ind. - July 23, 2020 - Entering Thursday's matchup, the Vikings (11-7) were 1-4 in their last five games and falling down in the standings. Their opponent, the Joliet Generals (3-12), have had success against the Vikings going 2-1 in the three games played between the two teams. The Vikings struggled all game to score but did when it mattered the most, scoring four runs and walking it off for a 4-3 win.
Both teams' bats were quiet through the first four innings, totalling zero runs and two hits. Jacob Goss (Illinois Springfield/Plainfield, Ill.) started for the Vikings and didn’t miss a beat. Goss only gave up one run which was in the fifth inning, but only allowed two hits and recorded three strikeouts in five innings of work.
“I just try to go out there and throw strikes, letting my defense make a play on the field.” Goss said. “It’s basically reading the hitters, throwing what I have skillswise and hoping it works. We just need to stay confident throughout the year for success.”
Justin Supergan (Prairie State/Valparaiso, Ind.) came in for relief in the sixth inning down 1-0. Supergan would be able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth to keep the game at 1-0. The Generals were able to tack runs in the seventh and ninth innings ending Supergan’s day at three innings and one third, two runs (one unearned), allowing one hit and one strike out, keeping his ERA at 2.70 on the year.
Dashon Moore (Illinois-Springfield/South Holland, Ill.) with runners on second and first with one out, took over for Supergan for his first pitching appearance of the year. Moore got out of the inning with no runs charged to his pitching line after a sac fly and groundout.
“The main goal is just to throw strikes, if you get behind the count the hitter knows what's coming, so just get in front of the count,” Moore said. “Everyone up and down the lineup has been piecing the ball today, so just stay confident and believe in our approach.
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth the Vikings looked for momentum for a comeback. Stephen Insely (Moraine Valley/Chicago, Ill.) started the inning with a leadoff double, his first double of the season. Kellen Quigley (Webster/Bolingbrook, Ill.) reached on-base via a drop third strike error, advaning Insely to second and Quigley at first with no outs. Luke Napleton (Quincy/La Grange, Ill.) lined the ball to left field for a double, scoring Insely and advancing Quigley to third for his seventh RBI of the season cutting the deficit to 3-1. Dylan Robertson (Iowa Western/Downers Grove, Ill.) continued the hit parade with a single to left field scoring Quigley and advancing Napleton to third making it 3-2 Generals. Chris McDevitt (Indiana State/Chicago, Ill.) drew a walk and the bases were loaded with no outs. Jacob Kampf (Heartland/Lockport, Ill.) was able to make contact and recorded a sac fly to right field in fall ball territory, scoring Napleton tying the game 3-3. Logan Anderson (South Suburban/Frankfort, Ill.) played hero ball by driving a ball to left field scoring Roberston for a 4-3 walk-off win.
“It was less than two outs so put the ball in play and hope that the runner at third comes home and scores,” Anderson said. “It gives us confidence going into the weekend, we’re trying to keep our focus tight and play some baseball. A new pitcher doesn't know what I got, so he’s going to throw me a fastball and he did on that hit.”
The Vikings next game is Saturday, July 25 against the MCL Minutemen. The game will be at Old Timers Sports Complex located in Lansing, Ill. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. and you can watch the game on the Southland Vikings Facebook page via Facebook Live. Ryan Zimmerman alongside Jack Theil will have the call for the game.