Vikings Defeat Panthers in Pitchers Duel

By: Cavan Malayter

Chicago Heights, Ill. – July 6, 2022 – The emphasis from the Southland coaching staff all year was held Wednesday night. When your pitchers throw strikes, you’ll win ball games. 

As the Southland Vikings (16-11-1) beat the Crestwood Panthers (13-17) in a one-hour and 59-minute pitchers duel on Wednesday, with the Vikings edging the Panthers by a 2-0 score. 

Nick Noles started on the mound for the Vikings in Wednesday’s contest and was dominant from the jump. The start would be the longest of the season for Noles, throwing six shutout innings allowing just two hits, and three base on balls while picking up one strikeout. His outing also ended on a positive note, not only exiting the game as the winning pitcher but retired the last nine hitters he faced. 

“My arm just felt good,” Noles said. “I was just attacking them early and pounding the zone. Just letting them hit it and [I know] my boys are out there backing me up.”

Noles would be relieved by both Colin Amsden and Oscar Treviño. The right-hander Amsden went one inning of work and picked up two strikeouts. The left-hander Treviño recorded his first save of the summer and it happened to be a six-out save. 

The effectiveness of the Viking arms meant the offense only needed one solid inning at the plate to give them the win. That came in the top of the sixth inning. 

After George Bilecki and Chris McDevitt worked walks and eventually found themselves on second and third, Luke Sefcik stepped up to bat with two outs. After Sefcik fell behind in the count, he fought back and grounded a fastball into center field, scoring both Bilecki and McDevitt. 

“He was working a lot on the outside part of the plate,” Sefcik said. “I was just saying no matter where it was, I knew I had to put a ball in play.” 

The ball put in play was the difference in the matchup between the two sides, and it gave the Vikings their second consecutive victory. 

The Southland Vikings return to action on Thursday when they return to Dowling Park to host the Joliet Generals. The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be aired on Facebook Live and the Vikings Radio Network.

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

This is Vikings Baseball.

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

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