Baseball: Southland Vikings trim DuPage County 4-2
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media July 2, 2014 11:03PM
Updated: July 3, 2014 2:15AM
The Southland Vikings came into Wednesday night’s game absolutely raking at the plate, having scored 43 runs over their previous three games, all wins.
But that game of baseball, it sure can be tricky.
Southland won Wednesday in the most non-glamorous fashion, scoring two runs on a wild pitch and adding an RBI groundout in a 4-2 Midwest Collegiate League victory over DuPage County at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
“That’s the game of baseball,” Southland’s Stefano Belmonte said with a smile. “We’ve been putting together a lot of good hits, good swings, but (Wednesday) was a little bit off. We were flat, but that’s baseball.”
Southland improved to 12-8, having handed DuPage County (17-6) three of its six losses.
The Vikings did it in workmanlike fashion, scoring two in the second. DuPage starting pitcher Tyler Hasper, who was struggling with his command, threw a pitch in the dirt past his catcher. On the play the Vikings’ Jeff Boehm scored from third. DuPage catcher Brian Lees tossed the ball toward the plate, but it bounced off Boehm, allowing Belmonte to scamper all the way home from second.
Belmonte added a bases-loaded RBI groundout in the third that put Southland up for good after DuPage scored twice in the top of the inning.
“Small-ball is awesome, and I’m happy to get the ‘W,’ ” Belmonte said. “That’s four wins in a row, and we’ve got to keep that streak rolling.”
Jerry Houston (Mount Carmel) added an RBI double to score Kendall King in the eighth to give the Vikings an insurance run.
Evan Nietfeldt (2-1) delivered his strongest performance of the season, tossing 62/3 innings and allowing two runs on eight hits with two walks.
“I’ve been focused on keeping my pitches longer because I’ve been cutting them off,” Nietfeldt said. “Mixed it up a little (Wednesday), and the Lexington Snipes owned me the last couple of starts. Throw strikes and put the pressure on the hitter.”
Anthony Spangler (T.F. South) got the save, striking out two in the ninth. Chris Sujka scored a run for the Vikings, who drew nine walks and managed eight hits.