Baseball: Vikings romp past Northwest Indiana Oilmen
By Dave Melton For Sun-Times Media July 1, 2014 11:00PM
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:14AM
WHITING — Back and forth the Northwest Indiana Oilmen and Southland Vikings went all game long Tuesday.
In the end, it was the Vikings finishing on top in a 14-8 Midwest Collegiate League victory on “Veterans’ Benefit Night.”
The Vikings (11-8 MCL) had a rude welcome for Oilmen starting pitcher Danny Pobereyko, scoring three runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. Dan Potempa provided the biggest punch with his two-run home run. Potempa added a towering solo shot in the ninth.
The Oilmen (14-8, 12-7 MCL) responded with two runs in the bottom of the second, only to be matched by two Vikings’ runs in the top of the third. Southland added two runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, sandwiched around a three-spot by the Oilmen in the bottom of the fourth.
Trailing 9-5 heading into the sixth, the Oilmen pulled to within two runs as Craig Dedelow’s two-out single drove in a pair of runs.
That was as close as the Oilmen would get, however, as the Vikings scored one run in the seventh and three more in the eighth to put the game out of reach.
Bobby Shepard (Oak Forest) had a banner night for the Vikings, going 5-for-6 with four runs, two doubles and a solo home run, the latter coming in the third inning.
The Oilmen offense was paced by the middle of the order: Dedelow in the cleanup spot (4-for-5, 3 RBI) and No. 5 hitter Larry Crisler (4-for-5).
Baseball was just part of the menu on this night, however. Sixty percent of ticket sales from a packed Oil City Stadium crowd went toward the “Veterans Build Project.” The aim of the project is to build a home for a veteran family, and this year’s recipient — Danna Carter — was introduced to the crowd before Tuesday’s game.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked,” Carter of his reaction when learning of the honor. “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me.”
Carter, who grew up in the Glen Park section of Gary, was stationed in Germany from 1989 to ’93 while also spending time in Iraq during the Gulf War.
Once the fundraising goal is complete, Carter said he will look to build a house in the Merrillville area for him and his two sons: Dajon and Danya.
“I still can’t express it … it’s still kind of surreal,” Carter said. “I’m just grateful. It’s better than winning the lottery.”