Vikings-Panthers Ends In Extra-Inning Tie

By: Cavan Malayter

Hammond, Ind. – July 11, 2022 – In what looks like a football score to the human eye, the Vikings and Panthers did something we see occasionally in the fall, a tie game. 

The tie was the second of the season for the Southland Vikings (18-12-2) and the first for the Crestwood Panthers (13-18-1) with the game being called after the 10th inning with the score even at 14. 

The Vikings fell behind 5-0 after the top of the first, behind clutch hitting from the Panther lineup as well as some command issues from the Viking starter. However, the deficit was immediately cut by the Viking offense. After Blaze Cano led off the inning with a single, Jason Krol would follow it up by driving a single to right field, which was misplayed by the right fielder of Crestwood, allowing Cano to score. Krol would later score on an RBI groundout by George Bilecki, and Luke Sefcik (who reached on a walk), would score on an RBI groundout by Julio Treviño

Crestwood would score three more in the top of the second before being met by an immediate Southland answer. As Nick Fies, cranked a ball to left field, leaving the yard and cutting the deficit to four. The home run for Fies was his first on the season and he would hit a second home run to the same spot in left field in the fourth inning. 

“I'd say I'm heating up,” Fies said. “I want to say I'm officially hot, but I'd say I'm getting there inch by inch.” 

Fies would end his day going 4-6 with three RBIs in the contest. His performance on Monday night meant he was six for his last fourteen with six RBIs. 

The fourth inning for Southland is when they broke through and grabbed the lead for the first time. The ‘Vikes sent all nine men to the plate in their half of the fourth, scoring six runs on five hits. The inning was highlighted by an RBI double from George Bilecki, a two-run RBI double from Will Flanigan, a run-scoring single from Beau Polickey, and the second homer of the day from Fies. 

Southland was able to add three more runs to their lead in the fifth, courtesy of three RBI singles from George Bilecki, Jon Crowel, and Will Flanigan. But their now four-run lead wouldn’t last long. 

Crestwood got one run back in the seventh and was able to tie the game in the visitor’s half of the eighth inning. The Panthers had an opportunity to grab a lead in the eighth but were stifled by George Bilecki who came into pitch. 

Bilecki kept the Vikings in the ballgame on several occasions. Bilecki struck out the first four batters he faced, and his ability to weasel his way out of a jam in both the eighth and tenth innings gave Southland hope. 

“When I step on that mound, it's just a whole different mentality,” Bilecki said. “My mindset is that it's me against him [the hitter] and I'm gonna come out on top, no one no one's gonna beat me.” 

Bilecki’s performance on the mound gave the Vikings momentum, but they were not able to cash in with runners on third base in both the eighth and tenth innings. Two scenarios where Southland could have taken the lead or won the game. Instead after the tenth inning, the two umpires came together and called the game due to darkness, ending the game in a 14-14 tie. 

Five Southland Vikings will now head to Oil City Stadium for the 2022 Northern League All-Star Game on Tuesday. In contrast, the rest of the team will enjoy a day off before making their last trip to Carol Stream, Illinois, to take on the Joliet Generals in a day-night doubleheader. The first game will start at 4 p.m. with the second game starting approximately 30 minutes after the first game’s conclusion. Viking fans will be able to watch both games on Facebook Live.

7/11/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E L
Panthers 5 3 0 0 2 0 1 3 0 0 14 14 4 14
Vikings 3 2 0 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 14 20 2 12

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

Search Archive »