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Vikings Announce Pitchers for 2021 Season

By: Jack Theil

Hammond, Ind. - May 18, 2021 - The Southland Vikings announced the addition of 12 pitchers including seven left-handers for the 2021 roster on Tuesday. The team features 10 new pitchers along with two returnees from the 2020 team. 

Justin Valdez, LHP, Morton College / Palos Heights, Ill. / St. Rita

Valdez enters his first year with the Southland Vikings after making nine appearances for Morton in 2021. Justin totaled 14 strikeouts in 13.1 IP, including three strikeouts in one inning on Feb. 20. He’s a St. Rita product, and his senior year he had an ERA of 1.14 in 24.2 innings. 

Oscar Trevino, LHP, St. Xavier University / Lowell, Ind. / Lowell HS

The southpaw returns to the MCL for his second year but with a different team. In his 2020 season with the Crestwood Panthers, Trevino appeared in seven games, striking out nine. On Aug. 1, he totaled three innings against the Southland Vikings, striking out four, with no runs scoring.

Liam McKillop, RHP, Lincoln Land JC / Chicago, Ill. / St. Rita 

An honorable mention in the Central Region for Rawlings Preseason All-American, McKillop a 2021 high school grad. The right-hander features a fastball, curveball, slider and splitter according to Prep Baseball Report. 

Joe Sullivan, LHP, Purdue Northwest / Mundelein, Ill. / Mundelein HS

The left-hander will be staying in his home ballpark for the summer season. The PNW pitcher comes into the 2021 campaign with two shutout starts in his Junior season. Sullivan had a 2.25 ERA for PNW through three starts. 

Zach Costello, LHP, St. Xavier University / Seneca, Ill. / Providence Catholic HS

Costello comes in with two-way experience from St. Xavier.  He recorded an RBI on a sacrifice-fly and appeared in three games for the Cougars in 2021. Costello is 5-10 and 190 pounds.

Ryan McGrath, RHP, Undecided / Oak Lawn, Ill. / St. Laurence HS

Another pitcher with previous MCL experience is McGrath following his 2020 season with the Crestwood Panthers. He appeared in five games, totaling 15 innings, including a four-strikeout performance against the Southland Vikings on July 5. According to Prep Baseball Report, McGrath features a fastball, curveball and changeup.

 Tommy Engraffia, RHP, St. Xavier University / Evergreen Park, Ill. / Evergreen Park HS

Engraffia comes off a strong 2021 season with the Cougars. He appeared in eight games, striking out nine through eight innings, holding batters to a .250 batting average, giving up one earned run, bringing his ERA to 1.12.

Clayton Bumsted, RHP, St. Xavier University / Palos Heights, Ill. / Stagg HS

Bumsted returns to the Vikings after his late arrival in 2020. The right-hander earned MCL Pitcher of the week from 7/27-8/02.  He worked 12 innings without allowing an earned run over two games. He issued three walks and struck out 11 while holding opponents to a .163 average. In 10 games for the Cougars in 2021, Bumsted struck out 18, while walking five in 21.1 IP.

Chris Seropian, LHP, Fairleigh Dickinson / Chicago, Ill. / St. Laurence HS

The No. 21 ranked LHP in Illinois, Seropian was an honorable mention in the Central Region for Rawlings Preseason All-American. According to Prep Baseball Report, Seropian features fastball, curveball, changeup, slider and cutter. He comes in at 6-0 and 165 pounds. 

Max Engstrom, LHP, Indiana Wesylean / Hickory Hills, Ind. / St. Laurence HS

Engstrom came off a strong stint in 2020 with the Crestwood Panthers. He started seven games, posted a record of 2-1, finished the year with a 4.23 ERA, and held batters to a .278 batting average. In his 2021 season with Indiana Wesylean, he appeared in 10 games, and didn’t allow more than two earned runs in all his appearances. 

Jake Paymaster, LHP, Triton College / New Lenox, Ill. / Lincoln-Way West HS

The Trojan product enters his first year with the MCL. He appeared in 12 games for the Trojans in 2021, totaling 22 strikeouts in 20 IP. In one of his most impressive games, he struck out five in 2.1 IP while not allowing a run. 

Billy Curtis, RHP, Trinity Christian College / Lockport, Ill. / Lockport HS

Curtis returns to the Vikings for the third straight year. Curtis was featured more of a hitter in the past years but did have two appearances on the mound for the Vikings in 2020. That included a start that lasted 4 innings, with 3 strikeouts, and 2 earned runs. 



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