Vikings All Around Performance Helps Defeat Giants

By: Jack Theil

Hammond, Ind. - June 23, 2021 - The Southland Vikings (6-11) squared off against the Chicago American Giants (7-6) for the second time in three games. Like in Sunday's win, the Vikings took the lead early, led throughout the game, and defeated the Giants 10-2.

 The runs didn’t start until the second inning for the Vikings, a solo moonshot home run to right field from Patrick Doran (North Carolina Central / Evergreen Park, Ill), his first of the season, started the Vikings off with the lead, 1-0. 

 “It felt good, the ball was carried out to left, so I hit it hard, thought it might have had the distance, it did and felt good to get one,” Doran said. “Just trying to have great at-bats and swing the bat hard. Looking for pitches I can drive, it’s not there everyday, so just trying to stay consistent at the plate. I’ve been saying all summer long, don’t let us get hot. We have the best lineup in this league and we hope to turn it up in July.” 

 The Vikings kept it going in the fourth. Lead-off walk from Doran and consecutive singles from Jon Crowel (Flagler / Highland, Ind.) and Luke Sefcik (Central Michigan / Palos Heights, Ill.) loaded the bases with no outs. Darrius Little (Morton College / Chicago, Ill.) chopped a ball to third, the errant throw from the third baseman allowed Little to be safe, advanced to third and Doran, Crowel, Sefick, all scored on the errant throw, 4-0. Marc Babicz (Lake Land / Stickney, Ill.) followed with a sac-fly to center field, scoring Little, 5-0.

 Nolan Vlcek (Marshalltown / Lockport, Ill.) started for the Vikings and attacked hitters with his high velocity fastball and devastating off-speed pitches. Vlcek controlled the game throughout his start, going five innings, three hits, zero earned runs, and seven strikeouts.

“Felt really good, just getting into it in the first inning, getting comfortable beyond the first inning.” Vlcek said. “Throw the first pitch offspeed a lot, get ahead in the count and let my fastball do the work. This being my first start, I did more bullpen work than usual and felt really good to long toss and take my time. Just control my command and pump it in the zone. I’m not trying to do too much, not trying to strike every guy out and trusting in my stuff. Both of the catchers did a great job behind the plate as well.”

 Entering the bottom of the sixth, Vikings up 5-2. Kyel Alexander (St. Ambrose / Burbank, Ill.) with a one out triple to left center. Babicz lined an RBI single to right field, his second RBI of the game, 6-2. 

 The Vikings put the game away in the seventh inning scoring five runs. Chris McDevitt (Indiana State / Chicago, Ill.) and Shawn Rigsby (St. Ambrose / Myrtle Creek, Ore.) drew consecutive walks. Jason Krol (Lewis / Chicago, Ill.) grounded into a fielder's choice, Rigsby thrown out at second, Krol safe at first. Nick Dombrowski (St. Xavier / Crestwood, Ill.) drew a walk, on ball four, Mcdevitt advanced to home on a wild pitch, 7-2. Alexander lined an RBI single to right field, scoring Krol, 8-2. Dombrowski advanced to third and Alexander advanced to second. Babcz lined a sac-fly to center field, scoring Dombrowski, extending the lead, 9-2. Dashon Moore (Georgetown / Chicago, Ill.) grounded to the third baseman, due to the wide throw, Alexander scored and Moore was safe, 10-2. 

 Chris Seropian (Lake Land / Chicago, Ill.) came out for a relief appearance in the sixth inning. Seropian shoved on the mound and set the tone for the rest of the night. The southpaw threw four innings, three hits, zero earned runs, six strikeouts, and helped the Vikings win 10-2. 

 “I felt great, I wanted to get back out there after my last outing on the mound,” Seropian said. “Coming out of the bullpen is different from starting, the short throws in the bullpen was nice because it juiced my arm more. Just have to come in with the baseball and have them hit it. If they can’t hit the fastball just to continue it but my offspeed has improved and I’m confident in it.” 

 “That’s a great game for us, Seropian and Vlcek pitched really well for us tonight,” Vikings Manager Rocco Mossuto said. “We played well all-around as a team and let’s hope we can continue to play some good baseball. The bats looked nice tonight and we played a tough team out there.” 

 The Vikings next game is Thursday, June 24 against the Crestwood Panthers. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. and at Dowling Park located in Hammond, Ind. The game will be broadcasted on the Southland Vikings Facebook Page via Facebook Live. Jack Theil and Jon Zaghloul will have the call for the game.

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