Hammond, Ind. - June 10, 2021 - The Southland Vikings (4-5) searching for a win on the final day of the homestead faced the hot Joliet Generals (5-3). The two teams faced off earlier in the week, as the Generals won. What was a high scoring day for the Vikings with nine runs, it was all Jake Paymaster on the mound throwing one of the better starts in the MCL, as the Vikings cruised to a 9-0 win in seven innings.
The Vikings started the first two innings with runs, as in the first Nick McAllister (Eskrine / Homewood, Ill.) with a lead off hit-by-pitch, stole second and third base, and ended up scoring from Dashon Moore (Georgetown College / Chicago, Ill.) RBI groundout, 1-0 Vikings. In the second inning, a lead off walk from Shawn Rigsby (St. Ambrose / Myrtle Creek, Ore.) and next batter Ethan Imlach (Purdue Northwest / Mokena, Ill.) recorded a hit-by-pitch. Rigsby advanced to third on a passed ball, scored from a Dylan Engel (Illinois Wesleyan / Chicago, Ill.) sac-fly, extending the Vikings lead 2-0.
Up 2-0, the Vikings added five runs to their total in the fourth. Consecutive walks from Rigsby and Imlach to lead off the inning. Rigsby advanced to third on a fly out to center. On the at-bat of Engel, Imlach stole second and Rigsby scored on the throw from the catcher, as Engel walked, 3-0. On the next pitch Imlach scored on a wild pitch, while McAllister the batter drew a walk, 4-0 Vikings. Moore drew another walk for the Vikings, loading the bases with one out. Patrick Doran (North Carolina Central / Evergreen Park, Ill.) lined a sac-fly to center field, scoring Engel adding one more to the lead, 5-0. Angelo Cantelo (Lewis / Blue Island, Ill.), who leads the team in RBIs, added to his total with a two RBI single to left field scoring McAllister and Moore, giving the Vikings their biggest lead of the game 7-0.
Jake Paymaster (Triton College / New Lenox, Ill.) started for the Vikings and was nothing short of spectacular. Through six innings, Paymaster kept the Generals offense silent, while racking up the strike outs and limiting the hits.
In the sixth, the Vikings kept the runs coming after a Moore leadoff double and a Doran double, scoring Moore, 8-0. Imlach lined an RBI single to right, scoring Doran giving the Vikings their biggest lead of the season at 9-0.
“Just trying to hit the ball hard, finding the middle of the field and just staying back and driving it up the middle,” Doran said. “It’s huge, we can potentially be the best offense in the league with the guys we have here. I think today is a sign for what’s to come. I feel great, it’s everything when you sting a couple extra base hits and go Vikings!”
Paymaster out for the seventh and final inning of the game. Put an exclamation point on his outing after stranding runners on third and second, while striking out two in the inning, pitching the Vikings to a 9-0 win. Finishing the complete game shutout and ending his day at seven innings, four hits, and seven strikeouts.
“They weren’t aggressive at the plate, so it was easy for me to get ahead of the count,” Paymaster said. “The first inning, I struggled a little but once I got comfortable, I felt good. “As the game went on, I wasn’t trying to overthink it, the guys behind me made great plays. Going into the sixth and seventh inning I felt a lot of confidence, I felt like I could throw anything and it would be a good result.
“Great win for us but also it was awesome to give guys some at-bats and switch out players for reps.” Vikings Manager Rocco Mossuto.
The Vikings next game is Friday, June 11 against the Crestwood Panthers. The game will take place at Prairie State College located in Chicago Heights, Ill. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. and you can view the game on the Southland Vikings Facebook Page via Facebook Live. Jack Theil will have the call for the game.