Vikings Bounce Back With Win Over Panthers

By: Cavan Malayter

Hammond, Ind – August 1, 2022 – It was only a matter of time before the Viking offense got hot again.

The Southland Vikings (25-16-2) got back in the win column, taking down the Crestwood Panthers (16-23-1) by a score of 6-3. The offense got out of its mini-slump, putting up 10 hits in the Monday evening contest.

Southland wasted no time getting the bats going and it showed through the early stages of the game. The ‘Vikes put up one run in each of the first four innings with the sticks, behind a George Bilecki stolen base and wild pitch to score in the first, an Anthony Fornero sacrifice fly in the second, a wild pitch that allowed Chris McDevitt to score from third and A.J. Taylor's sacrifice fly in the fourth saw Southland cruise early.

During this time, the Vikings stranded five baserunners, but it didn’t seem to matter as Max Everaert was cruising on the mound again.

Everaert had a shutout through four innings and the fifth gave him his most trouble. He allowed three runs (all earned) but was still able to get around the damage and hold the lead. The right-hander would throw one more shutout frame to complete his day.

Everaert finished with just the three runs allowed to join six hits and four walks. He picked up two strikeouts throughout his six innings of work. This performance gave him his eighth win of the season, extending his lead of most wins by a Northern League pitcher this summer.

In the home half of the sixth, Everaert got two more insurance runs. After a Jon Crowel leadoff single, Anthony Fornero came up and smacked an RBI triple into the right-center field gap, scoring Crowel with ease. The RBI was Fornero’s second of the game and got him to five in the 2022 summer season.

“I was trying to stay on this kid [Crestwood pitcher Matt Maloney],” Fornero said. “I saw his fastball a lot, so I just finally figured out how to piece it into the gap and I got to third base. [I’m] Glad to see it.”

The Vikings had a chance to add on a few more runs in the eighth but were unable to despite a pair of singles from Fornero and Crowel. For Jon Crowel, the hit in the eighth was his third of the contest.

“I got a lot of first-pitch swings,” Crowel said. “I got hard contact and I’m not trying to swing and miss, and give the pitcher any more confidence than he already has out there.”

The win Monday night meant Southland became the second team in the Northern League this season to reach the 25-win mark. They’ll look to make it 26 as they go to Chicago Heights to take on the Crestwood Panthers for the final time this summer. The two sides will square off at 5 p.m. and will be aired on Facebook Live.

8/1/22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E L
Panthers 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 9 1 8
Vikings 1 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 X 6 10 0 8

This is Vikings Baseball.

Photo Credit: Isaiah Santiago

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