Game Changer

Offensive Onslaught Powers Vikings Over Oilmen

By: Jack Theil

Hammond, Ind. - July 31, 2021 - The Southland Vikings (17-19) in fourth place with one week left of regular season remaining in the MCL, visited the first place Northwest Indiana Oilmen (22-9) on Saturday. Winning the previous two matchups, Southland continued their hot month by providing their biggest offensive numbers of the season, defeating the Oilmen 14-5. 

 The Oilmen scored first in the first inning, plating one run without recording a hit, 1-0.

 Southland answered in the second inning. Lead-off double from Shawn Rigsby (St. Ambrose / Myrtle Creek, Ore.) and a single to right field by Joe Selby (Triton / Romeoville, Ill.) advancing Rigsby to third. Marc Babicz (Lake Land / Stickney, Ill.) reached on a fielder's choice to third, Rigsby beating the throw to home and scoring, 1-1. Kyel Alexander (St. Ambrose / Burbank, Ill.) lined an RBI single to right field, taking a 2-1 lead.

 The Vikings continued the runs in the third inning. Three consecutive one out walks from Jon Crowel (Flagler / Highland, Ind.), Jason Krol (Lewis / Chicago, Ill.), and Rigsby loaded the bases. Selby dropped an RBI single in front of the right fielder, 3-1. Babicz scorched a ball past the third basemen for a two RBI single, 5-1.

 One more unanswered run was added for the Vikings in the fourth inning. Solo home run for Crowel his first of the season, extending the lead 6-1. 

 “It was pretty good, I honestly didn’t think it was going to go over off the bat, I heard everyone cheer and it was pretty exciting,” Crowel said. “It brings some confidence, motivates you a little better, multi hit games help you soak. A performance like this gives the dugout life, gives us confidence going into these final weeks.”

 The Oilmen added two runs in the fourth inning, 6-3 but the Vikings came right back in the fifth inning.

 Lead-off single from Selby, Selby advanced to second on a wild pitch and Darrius Little (Morton / Chicago, Ill.) drove a two-out RBI single to left field, 7-3. Chris McDevitt (Indiana State / Chicago, Ill.) continued the two out hitting with an RBI single to center field, 8-3.

 The Oilmen did not go down quietly, scoring one run in the sixth inning, keeping the game at a 8-4 deficit. 

 Southland continued the runs in the seventh inning. Two consecutive one out walks from Little and Luke Sefcik (Central Michigan / Palos Heights, Ill.). McDevitt continued his hot week with two more RBI's, a double to center field, his 13th RBI in the last five games, 10-4.

 “We’ve been soaking in all these wins like I said before and Kyle Hallbergs batting practice has been phenomenal this past week,” McDevitt said. “We just come out here and have fun, we enjoy everyone's presence.”

 The Vikings added on to their lead in the eighth inning. Walks by Rigsby, Babicz, and Little loaded the bases with two outs. Sefcik drove a two RBI single to right field, 12-4. McDevitt followed with another two RBI single to right field, his fourth hit and fifth RBI of the game, 14-4. 

 With three outs to secure a win, the Oilmen scored one in the ninth but that would be all as the Vikings defeated the Oilmen 14-5 courtesy to 17 hits, nine walks, seven players recording an RBI, and all nine starters recording a hit. 

 The Vikings next game is Monday, August 2 against the MCL Minutemen. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. and the game is at Prairie State in Chicago Heights, Ill. The game will be broadcasted on the Southland Vikings Facebook Page via Facebook Live. Jack Theil will have the call for the game.

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