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April 14, 2010

2010 Season - Kujawa's 10th inning single gives Vikings a win

MOLINE, Ill.—Freshman Nick Kujawa (Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) singled home Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Fox River Grove, Ill.) with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Augustana claimed a 9-8 come-from-behind win over Illinois Wesleyan Wednesday night at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. Kevin Kulig (Benet Academy, Lemont, Ill.) was nearly perfect in four innings of relief and picked up his first win of the season.

After Viking starter Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) pitched out of a jam in the top of the first, leaving Titan runners stranded at second and third, Hoffman’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning gave Augustana a 1-0 lead. IWU took advantage of three Vikings miscues to score two runs each in the second and third while the Titans returned the favor with three errors of their own in the bottom of the second, helping Augustana put three runs on the board.

Illinois Wesleyan took a 6-4 lead on Kraig Ladd’s two-run double in the fifth. Ladd’s drive to center ended McIntosh’s night. The freshman went 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs, only three of which were earned as he was forced to pitch around four errors. Rick Erickson (Lake Zurich HS, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) came on in relief and got the Vikings out of the fifth with no further damage, but another Augustana error in the sixth led to two more Titan runs and a 8-4 deficit for the Vikings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Augustana scored four to tie the game. Freshmen Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) and Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) each had RBI singles to right in the frame and Hoffman drove in two runs with his second double of the evening.

From that point forward relievers Pat Hayn of Illinois Wesleyan and Augustana’s Kulig took over. Hayn held the Vikings hitless in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings while Kulig did him one better, going four nearly perfect innings. The only Titan to reach base against Kulig was Mark McDermott, who reached on the sixth Viking error of the game in the ninth inning. McDermott was then cut down stealing by Viking catcher T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.).

In the bottom of the 10th, Titan freshman Anthony Kopp came on in relief of Hayne and got Schmidt to fly to right to start the inning. Hoffman followed with his third hit of the game, a line single to center. He then stole second and Kujawa followed with a shot to right center that scored the Viking first baseman with the winning run.

Kulig faced the minimum and struck out four in his four-inning stint. He picked up the win to move to 1-0 on the year. Kopp took the loss in his first decision of the season.

Hoffman drove in three runs with his three hits and Viking leadoff man Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) scored three times and had a pair of hits. Schmidt, Kujawa and Juhl each had two hits as well.

Augustana, now 15-8 overall and 3-6 in the CCIW, plays at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois tomorrow (April 15) at 2:00 p.m. The Vikings then face a three-game set against Elmhurst this weekend. The two teams meet in Elmhurst Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, they’ll play a single game at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field, also at 1:00 p.m.