Vikings Fall In Heartbreaking Fashion To Corn Dogs

By: Cavan Malayter

Crown Point, Ind. – June 5, 2022 – You need 27 outs to win a baseball game, and the toughest outs to get are always the final three. 

Sunday night in Crown Point the Southland Vikings (3-5-1) subscribed to that theory as they lost heartbreakingly to the Lake County Corn Dogs (7-1) on a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to finalize the score at 4-3. 

The Vikings led for seven innings of play, but the bottom of the eighth inning is when everything changed for Southland. Sunday’s contest was a pitcher’s duel between Southland’s Nolan Vlcek and Lake County’s Frank Plesac, with Vlcek out-dueling the reigning Northern League Pitcher of the Week. The Viking right-hander went five innings of shutout, one-hit baseball while recording four strikeouts and six walks.  

“Those are one of the best feelings,” Vlcek said. “Especially [with] the fans all in it even though they're all Corn Dogs fans but it was still awesome. Just going back and forth with them. And that's what baseball is all about.” 

The momentum of Vlcek’s strong start on the mound gave the offense confidence and it showed. Outfielder Darrius Little had a pair of RBIs Sunday night, the first being an RBI single in the top of the third scoring fellow outfielder Sean Moore. His second RBI of the game would come in the top of the fifth inning when Little hit a sacrifice fly into center field, scoring A.J. Taylor from third base. These two at-bats from Little gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead. 

“Staying on time and staying through the ball,” Little said. “That was the main focus because in college ball I was popping [the ball] up a little bit. But now I found staying through the ball, just driving it.”

The Vikings would tack on an insurance run in the top of the eighth on a Blaze Cano RBI double to left-center field, scoring George Belieki from first base. However, that three-run lead would not last long. 

The Corn Dogs put up three runs in their half of the eighth inning to tie the game at three and after a scoreless top of the ninth, the Corn Dogs would walk it off on a bases-loaded walk by Roman Kuntz. 

The Southland Vikings will be back in action on Monday night as they’ll host the Joliet Generals to kick off a stretch of five games in five days. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be aired live on Facebook and the Vikings Radio Network.

6/5/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E L
Vikings 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 5 0 7
Corn Dogs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 4 5 1 10

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