Vikings Defensive Woes Costs Them Game Against Generals

By: Cavan Malayter

Hammond, Ind. – July 20, 2022 – The old theme returns for Southland, when you don’t throw strikes, you put yourself in a poor position to win a ballgame.

On a windy day in Hammond, the Southland Vikings (22-14-2) fell to the Joliet Generals (17-17) 13-5. The game saw the Vikings commit five errors and issue a combined 12 free passes to Joliet hitters.

“Communication was a big problem today defensively,” Vikings manager Scott Nowakowski said. “The wind was blowing, balls were carrying a little bit. Routine pop-ups that our middle infielders would normally get to become little tweeners between the infield and outfield.”

While these defensive gaffes were shown throughout the game for the ‘Vikes, leading for the first four innings of the game. Behind four strong innings from Nick Noles on the mound, including a season-high four strikeouts, Southland looked strong handing the ball to their bullpen.

But that’s when things went south for Southland. With the three bullpen arms for the Vikings allowing 10 runs, eight walks, and three hit-by-pitches.

“You gotta let them work through adversity,” Nowakowski said. “This is what the summer is about. Pitchers getting through adversity, working towards the season for their schools.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the team outhit the Generals 11-7 but also stranded two more runners than Joliet. Blaze Cano led the way for the ‘Vikes, reaching base in all five trips to the plate including a pair of doubles. Of the five Southland runs, Cano had involvement in three of them as he scored twice while collecting an RBI.

“I'm just trying to put the ball in play,” Cano said. “Everything was falling [for me] today.”

The Vikings will look to shake Wednesday’s game as they’ll host the Chicago American Giants for the second time this week on Thursday. The eighth meeting of the season between the two sides will start at 5 p.m. and there will not be a broadcast for the game.

7/20/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E L
Generals 0 3 0 0 5 0 0 3 2 13 7 1 7
Vikings 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 11 5 9

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

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