Vikings Late Offensive Explosion Leads To Win Over Panthers

By: Cavan Malayter

Chicago Heights, Ill. – July 19, 2022 – Despite baseball not having any halves, Tuesday’s game between the Vikings and the Panthers was a tale of two halves.

With the Southland Vikings (22-13-2) defeating the Crestwood Panthers (14-19-1) by a final of 7-0. Despite what the final score may indicate, this game was a pitcher’s duel for the first six innings of the game.

Max Everaert and Charlie Faoro exchanged zeros and were able to match each other’s intensity on the mound.

“It's a blast,” Everaert said. “A good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel. I love that all day [long].”

Everaert finished with six shutout innings on the mound, allowing just four hits and two walks while picking up five strikeouts. This performance was good enough to pick up his fifth win of the summer, which now leads all Northern League pitchers.

“It all started with Mad Max out there pitching,” reliever George Bilecki said. “He really set the tone for all of us.”

Bilecki would follow up Everaert on the mound with three scoreless innings of his own. Yielding three hits while collecting two strikeouts. Bilecki’s three-inning performance allowed him to record his second save of the summer.

“I just wanted to go in there and throw off their timing a little bit,” Bilecki said. “I did a pretty good job keeping guys off base and throwing strikes.”

With the quality performances from both Everaert and Bilecki, the Viking offense needed to come through to make these outings worthwhile. They were finally able to break through in the seventh inning.

After a Max Malley one-out single and a Logan Anderson walk, Daniel Barrios came up and grounded into a fielder’s choice. This saw Anderson retired at second. Barrios would later steal second to make it second and third with only one out. While Anthony Fornero was at the dish, a wild pitch to him saw Malley score from third and advanced Barrios to third. The next batter, Daniel Barrios caught the Panthers' battery sleeping and swiped home. This gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

“I thought insurance is fairly big right now,” Barrios said. “I saw an opportunity while they're asleep and I decided to take advantage of it.”

In the following inning, Southland put up a five-spot on Crestwood. The inning was highlighted by a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Jason Krol and a grand slam by Logan Anderson, his first of the 2022 summer season.

The Vikings are back in action at Dowling Park on Wednesday as they’ll host the Joliet Generals. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. and will be aired on Facebook Live and the Vikings Radio Network.

7/19/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E L
Vikings 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0 7 7 0 5
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 2 7

This is Vikings Baseball.

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

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