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Baseball: Southland Vikings rip Chicago Zephyrs 8-1

Mother Nature on Tuesday night had no intention of letting Southland pitcher Brandon White find his rhythm.

White, on the other hand, couldn’t care less.

Settling in during a steady drizzle through the first three innings, White pitched through some early struggles and dominated, helping shut down the Chicago Zephyrs in an 8-1 Midwest Collegiate League win at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

“Those first few innings, the weather messed up the mound a little,” White said. “I was slipping off a little, but once we fixed it, it definitely helped me out the next few innings.”

White threw seven strong innings for Southland (18-11), allowing one unearned run on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

He closed in style, allowing just one hit over his final three innings, ending the seventh with three straight strikeouts after surrendering a leadoff single to Chicago’s Drew Bailey.

“My changeup and fastball were both working,” White said. “I had to settle in, and once I did, I felt a lot stronger.”

White’s offense staked him to a lead with a three-run third. Brandon Mallder (St. Laurence) ripped a line-drive home run to right that just cleared the fence.

“I couldn’t even tell you the last time I hit a home run like that down the line,” Mallder said with a smile. “It stayed fair with just enough height to get over. It was a 2-0 pitch, so I was looking for anything in.”

Mallder finished with three hits, a walk with two runs.

Steve Letz added an RBI double in the third, He finished with two doubles, two walks and a stolen base. Chase Fieldhouse (2 doubles, RBI), Chris Sujka (2 runs) and Kendall King (2 runs) contributed in a balanced attack.

With a berth all but clinched in the MCL’s four-team playoff format, Vikings coach Chris Cunningham is looking for his team to find that rhythm over the final two weeks of the regular season.

“We’re trying to make sure everyone is healthy, let the pitchers get their work in and set up that rotation,” Cunningham said. “We want to get that hot thing we had back. Right now we’re in that in-between area.”

Ray Williams scored the lone run for the Zephyrs (6-15).



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