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College Basetball: 13-run surge sends Vikings past Zephyrs

The SouthlVikings Jeff Boehm connects for home run against Chicago Zephyrs July 27 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

The Southland Vikings Jeff Boehm connects for a home run against the Chicago Zephyrs, July 27, 2014.| Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 27, 2014 10:14PM



Jeff Boehm can’t remember for sure if he’s ever hit two home runs in an inning before.

Maybe Little League.

Definitely not during his time at Mount Carmel or UIC.

But on a weird day of baseball in general, Boehm did just that, drilling two home runs in the fifth inning Sunday for the Southland Vikings.

Oh, and that power outburst was part of a 13-run surge that saw the Vikings mount a furious comeback on the way to a 17-15 slugfest victory over the Chicago Zephyrs at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

The win, coupled with a Zephyrs forfeit in the second game of the doubleheader, gave the Vikings the top seed in the upcoming Midwest Collegiate League playoffs.

“It wasn’t bad baseball, but maybe we got lucky,” Boehm said with a smile. “We’ll take it and run going through the lineup three times like that. I’ve never done that, never batted three times in an inning before. We kept it together, strung some runs together and took the win.”

Southland (27-12) opens the playoffs Tuesday at H-F at 7:10 versus the Lexington Snipes, the four-seed.

The Vikings needed a sweep Sunday to claim the top seed in the playoffs.

Playing in ridiculously strong winds, it was the Zephyrs taking the early lead. A very big early lead at that.

Chicago (8-29) went up 7-1 and then 11-2 through the top of the fourth, putting the Vikings in quite the hole.

“After we’re down 7-1, I’m thinking ‘How is this gonna go?’” Southland’s Bobby Sheppard said. “It really is contagious when we get hitting. It’s fun to watch.”

Was it ever contagious on this day.

In the 13-run fifth, the Vikings sent 19 men to the plate, piling up 13 hits with Sheppard’s opposite field grand slam to right tying the game at 11.

“Absolutely hitting with the wind,” Sheppard said with a laugh. “I tried to take what they gave me, and he’s throwing outside. I got a fastball and tried driving it to right.”

Having led off the inning with a solo shot, Boehm’s two-run dinger put the Vikings up for good at 13-11. He ended the inning with a pop-up to shallow right. And yes, he was swinging for a third homer.

“My last AB, of course I’m going to go for it,” Boehm said. “Who wouldn’t? Just missed that last one.”

Steve Letz was a force as well for Southland, adding three RBI and two runs with Jerry Houston (3 hits, 3 runs), Brandon Mallder (3 hits, 3 runs) and Stefano Belmonte (4 hits, RBI, 3 runs) contributing.



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