Baseball: Southland Vikings, Northwest Indiana Oilmen split doubleheder
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media July 14, 2014 10:48PM
Updated: July 15, 2014 2:13AM
Southland’s Chris Sujka wasn’t looking for anything out of the ordinary.
He wanted a pitch he could do something with, and he got it.
At the plate Monday in a tie game, Sujka’s hard-hit single through the left side of the infield brought pinch-runner Kendall King around from second with the game-winning run in Southland’s 2-1 win over the Northwest Indiana Oilmen in Game 1 of a Midwest Collegiate League doubleheader at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
The Oilmen were 7-4 winners in the nightcap.
“I was just looking to hit a ball hard, looking for something over the plate that I could square up,” Sujka said. “I hit the ball pretty hard all day so I felt comfortable in that spot.”
Monday’s dramatic Game 1 win came after the Vikings (17-11) took a thumping Sunday in a doubleheader at Lexington, dropping both games.
Starter Dan Wetzel made sure the losing streak didn’t stretch to three, throwing six innings of three-hit ball. The Providence grad earned the win, allowing one unearned run with three walks and four strikeouts.
“You’ve got to come out like nothing,” Wetzel said. “It’s a baseball game, so you’ve got to pick it up the next day, go at it. Don’t let anything bother you so we’ve got a good attitude about that.”
Dan Potempa hit a solo home run for Southland, an opposite-field shot to right putting the Vikings up 1-0 in the second inning.
Andrew Ray’s double down the left-field line score Nick Vogelmeier in the sixth to tie the game at 1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sujka’s two-out single brought King home. Oilmen catcher Ray was unable to cleanly field the throw, with King sliding around the tag.
“That’s baseball. It happens,” Sujka said with a smile. “That’s what’s so good about this league. You play every day so a good game, you can carry the momentum. A bad game, you can turn it around just like that.”
Jeff Boehm picked up the win in relief, allowing a walk in his one inning.
Starting pitcher Cameron Linck threw six strong innings for the Oilmen (16-11) in Game 1, allowing one run on eight hits with two strikeouts.
The Oilmen bounced back in Game 2 behind Keith Mahler, who struck out seven in five innings. Matt Pobereyko earned his 10th save of the season.
Craig Dedelow (2-run homer), Jason Gasser (RBI double) and Zack Jones (solo homer) led the Oilmen on offense.