Vikings All-Around Performance Sends Them Back Into Win Column

By: Cavan Malayter

Hammond, Ind. – May 31, 2022. 

The Southland Vikings (2-3) bounced back Tuesday evening with a much-needed victory over the Crestwood Panthers (2-3) by a final of 6-2. Despite the Vikings being the visiting team, the game was held at Dowling Park, the Vikings home field. 

With the offense getting to work first, they wasted no time taking an early lead. In his first game with the Vikings, Darrius Little led off the game with a double and would advance to third on a wild pitch. Chris McDevitt would later walk to place runners on first and third with one out. The next two plate appearances saw Jon Crowell plating Little with a sacrifice fly to center followed by Jason Krol hitting an RBI double, scoring McDevitt from first base to give the Vikings a 2-0 advantage. 

The second inning saw Zach McKenna lead off the inning with a single. He would later score on Armani Sanchez’s RBI groundout. The Vikings would add three more runs in the top of the third. After Blaze Cano reached on an error to lead off the inning and would wind up on third following an additional error and a sacrifice fly, Jon Crowell would knock him in with a run-scoring single. Jason Krol would follow up with a double, setting up runners on second and third for Nick Noles to come through with a two-RBI single. 

The six runs the Vikings scored would be more than enough behind stellar pitching from the Viking arms. In his season debut with the Vikings, 2021 all-star Nolan Vleck was superb. 

Vleck pitched five innings, allowing seven hits, with one strikeout and two walks, while surrendering one run, which was good enough to earn the win.  

“I just put it in the zone and really worked for that first-pitch strike,” said Vleck. “The wind was blowing so just letting them hit it…and letting my fielders do the work [for me].” 

Vleck was followed-up by two shutout innings of work by Brett Smith. The right-hander allowed three hits while recording three strikeouts in relief. 

Their performance sets up the opportunity for the Vikings to be back at .500 ball if they are able to defeat the Chicago American Giants on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will be aired on Facebook Live and the Vikings Radio Network. 

5/31/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E L
Vikings 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 6 8 1 4
Panthers 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 10 3 7

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