Vikings fall to Oilmen in Tony Sanchez’s managerial debut

By: David Bork

Chicago Heights, Ill. – The Southland Vikings first game under new manager Tony Sanchez did not go the way the Vikings wanted as they fell to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen 5-3.

The Oilmen struck first after a two-run home run by center fielder Jordan Lewis.

Starting pitcher Brandon Barnes only went one inning for the Oilmen, not allowing a run, but Barnes left the game with elbow discomfort.

The Vikings responded to tie the game in the second inning off Oilmen reliever Sam Bell with two back-to-back RBI singles by Clark Brinkman (Dayton/Addison, Ill.) and Kendall King (Western Illinois/Homewood, Ill.).

Bell’s three innings of two-run baseball for the Oilmen allowed him to pick up the win for Northwest Indiana.

Jalen Purchase (Joliet Junior College/Chicago, Ill.) pitched a scoreless third inning to keep the score tied at two.

The Oilmen were able to take the 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning after Robert Nunn (Western Illinois/Crete, Ill.) had a balk to score Donovan Chandler from third base.

Josh Swisher (Roosevelt/Manhattan, Ill.), came in to pitch in relief in the seventh inning and the Oilmen were able to take touch him for two runs on a double by former Viking Stefano Belmonte to give the Oilmen the 5-2 lead.

Vikings were scoreless in the second through the sixth innings.

Jeff Cardenas (Kankakee CC/Fort Wayne, Ind.) trimmed the Oilmen lead to 5-3 with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

That would be all the scoring in the game as the Oilmen held off the Vikings, 5-3.

The Vikings go to 0-1 on the season while the Oilmen improve to 2-0. The Vikings next game is Thursday as the team takes on the Michigan City Lakers at Marquette Athletic Complex starting at 5 p.m.

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