Vikings out-power Bobcats for first win of season

By: Michal Dwojak

The runs came early and often for both the Southland Vikings and the Bloomington Bobcats on Wednesday, but the Vikings out-powered the Bobcats and held off a late-game push to win their first game of the season 9-6.

Neither team had a strong pitching performance, but the Vikings’ staff did enough to protect the nine runs the order put up against shaky Bobcats pitching

“Great overall performance,” interim coach Alex Triantafillo said. “They played a great game, we just got the upper hand.”

Infielder Tom Decero continued his strong start to the season, batting 5-for-5, driving in two runs and continuing his perfect batting average. Both RBIs came in the bottom of the fourth inning on a on a line-drive double to left field.

Triantafillo thought the game changed in that inning when Trey Polewski squeezed a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third.  

“That deflates a team,” Triantafillo said. “That’s pressure they weren’t able to keep with.”

One of the facets that impressed the interim manager was the different ways his team could score this season. The Vikings left nine runners left on-base, but made sure to take advantage of the moments they had, through different techniques. That was highlighted in the fourth when Southland drove in runs through doubles, singles and home runs.

“We’ve got very smart hitters,” Triantafillo said. “They go up there and take quality at-bats. The smartness of our hitters is what’s going to win us ballgames.”

Vikings pitching was shaking allowing six runs on 12 hits and struck out 10 batters. Southland got into trouble in the top of the ninth when Adam Martinson loaded the bases with two outs, but David Sorrell came into the game to get the save.

The Vikings were called a young and gritty team by its manager at the beginning of the season, and that was in full display Wednesday night.  

“Absolutely,” Triantafillo said. “We’re a rag tag group of guys who are going to come out and beat you. We’re going to compete and doing anything we can do to get a win.”

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