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March 30, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings bounce back in baseball with double header sweep of North Central


MOLINE, Illinois – After losing a 7-6 decision to North Central on Saturday, March 28, the Augustana Vikings bounced back with a double header sweep of the Cardinals on Monday, March 30 at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The Vikings won the first game 14-7 in a slugfest and they won a pitcher’s duel 3-1 in the nightcap. Augustana is now 14-4 overall and 2-1 in the CCIW.


The Vikings collected 19 hits off four North Central pitchers and Mike Pagano (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) went six strong innings in a 14-7 win over the Cardinals. Dave Hoffman (Cary Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) and Aaron Hopson (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, Ill.) each collected four hits and four runs-batted-in to lead the offensive attack.

After surrendering a run to North Central in the first, Pagano settled down and allowed a total of just five hits while striking out three as he worked through the sixth. He picked up his fourth win of the season against just one defeat.

Despite the fact that the game was played at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field, Augustana was the visitor because this game was supposed to be played as part of a double header in Naperville on Saturday. In the top of the second inning the Vikings struck for three runs. Eric Izzo (Lockport HS, Lockport, Ill.) led off with a single and scored on a double by Hoffman, who was thrown out trying to go to third on the play at the plate on Izzo. Hopson was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a single to center by Kevin Schuetz (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.). Schuetz stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and came home when John Vezzetti’s (LaSalle Peru HS, Peru, Ill.) ground ball was mishandled.

In the fourth Myles Kurnick (Buffalo Grove HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) doubled to lead things off. He scored on a single by John Wagle (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.). Wagle stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Izzo hit a ball that went for an error and he reached second with Wagle staying at third. Both Izzo and Wagle scored on a double to right center by Hoffman. Hopson singled Hoffman to third and Hoffman scored on a ground out off the bat of Schuetz.

Augustana piled on two more in the fourth and got a single run in the sixth when Hopson unloaded a mammoth home run. The Vikings also scored one in the eighth and three in the ninth.

Besides the four hits each by Hoffman and Hopson, Kurnick added three hits while Mark Ramos (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.), Wagle and Izzo had two apiece. Augustana ran wild on the bases with seven stolen bases.


Four Augustana pitchers combined to limit North Central to just one run on six hits in a 3-1 victory. Vince Frede (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) got the start and cruised into the fourth when he hurt his elbow and had to leave the contest. He was replaced by Mike O’Neill (Peoria Notre Dame HS, Peoria Heights, Ill.), who lasted an inning and a third and then by Jon Carlson (Glenbrook South HS, Glenview, Ill.), who worked one and two thirds. Freshman Mike Trotta (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) was given the ball to start the seventh inning and he worked three frames. Trotta only allowed one hit and picked up the save. Carlson was given credit for the victory, his second of the year.

The Vikings scored a single run in the first when Myles Kurnick (Buffalo Grove HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) singled to right center with one out. A pickoff attempt went awry and Kurnick scampered to third and scored on John Wagle’s (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) sacrifice fly to right field.

In the bottom of the fifth inning T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.) led off with a double. He was sacrificed to third and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mark Ramos (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.). Kurnick walked with two outs, stole second and came home on Wagle’s triple to right center.

North Central scored an unearned run in the seventh off Trotta but that was all the scoring for the Cardinals in the game.
Augustana managed 10 hits off two North Central pitchers with Ramos, Kurnick, Wagle and Kevin Schuetz (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) all collecting two.