Vikings Slow Offensive Start Leads To Defeat At Oilmen

By: Cavan Malayter

Whiting, Ind. – July 26, 2022 – There are nights when no matter how hard you try, it seems like you can’t buy a hit.

Tuesday night was one of those nights for the Southland Vikings (24-15-2) as they were defeated by the Northwest Indiana Oilmen (21-18) by a final of 5-1. The Vikings were only able to capture six hits and squandered their few chances to score.

“Yeah, we put the ball in play,” Vikings coach Scott Nowakowski said. “They made some good plays. Hodges made a good play in right field and that could have scored two or three runs. Just come out tomorrow, keep hitting the ball, and hopefully, they fall our way.”

The Vikings fell behind early, giving up one run in each of the first, fourth, and fifth innings. But, good pitching kept Southland in the game.

The Vikings entered the contest with only one rostered pitcher scheduled to make an appearance (Ray Cantelo). The rest of the staff on Tuesday night were guys who spend most of their time with the sticks. George Bilecki, the Vikings starting pitcher, and Nick Noles made another appearance, while players like Jon Crowel and Chris McDevitt made their season debuts on the mound at Oil City Stadium.

“They threw strikes,” Nowakowski said. “Them being position players that don't pitch a lot, they did well and kept us in the game. We just couldn't get enough hits to overcome the four-run deficit.”

The Vikings offense was able to get one run across in the seventh inning off a Chris McDevitt RBI single, scoring Daniel Barrios from second base. However, the offense was highlighted by a two-hit performance from Kyle Fenner.

“Just swing the bat,” Fenner said. “I'm really trying to put a ball in play. So again, anything that's near the zone, we've had some complaints about the umpire, so just anything close not letting them take over the game. That's what I've been doing.”

The Vikings will return to Oil City Stadium on Wednesday night to take on the Oilmen once again. The game is slated for a 7:10 p.m. start and fans will be able to watch on the Oilmen Broadcasting Network.

7/26/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E L
Vikings 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 6 2 11
Oilmen 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 X 5 15 2 14

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

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