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April 17, 2010

2010 Season - Hoffman leads Vikings to sweep of Elmhurst

ELMHURST, Ill.—Starting at second base for the first time this year, junior Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Fox River Grove, Ill.) had a big day Saturday, banging out seven hits in 11 at-bats to lead Augustana to 10-7 and 10-5 wins over Elmhurst. The sweep of the twin bill, played at Elmhurst’s Butterfield Park, improves the Vikings’ record to 18-8 overall and 5-6 in the CCIW. Augustana hosts the Bluejays on Sunday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field in Moline, Ill.

Game One—Augustana 10, Elmhurst 7

Hoffman went 4-for-6 with a homer and two stolen bases to propel the Vikings to a 10-7 win in game one. Freshman Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) also homered for the second game in a row.

Nick Herrera’s two-run double to left off Vikings starter Raymond Homolka (Glenbard West HS, Wheaton, Ill.) gave the Bluejays a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Vikings tied the game with single runs in the second and fourth innings, but Elmhurst came right back in the bottom of the fourth. Vince Mathe’s two-run single to center made it 4-2 in favor of the Bluejays.

A Hoffman single to center started a two-run Vikings rally in the top of the fifth that tied the game again. Hoffman stole second and T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.) and Mike Barker (Grandview HS, Centennial, Colo.; now resides in Marina del Rey, Calif.) walked to load the bases. Freshman Joe Cecchi (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) followed with a single that scored Hoffman and O’Donnell to even the score at 4-4.

Hoffman’s two-run homer in the top of the sixth gave the Vikings their first lead of the game and they added two more runs in the seventh. McIntosh led off with his second homer in as many games and Cecchi walked one out later to end the day for Elmhurst starter Joe Luft. Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) sacrificed Cecchi to second and he came around to score on a Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) single up the middle.

Elmhurst cut the Viking lead to 8-5 with an unearned run off Homolka in the seventh, but Mike Pagano (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) came on in relief and induced Dan Bosco to ground into an inning-ending double play.

A two-out bunt single by Lamb sparked a two-run ninth for Augustana. Serna singled him to third and the two then executed a double steal with Lamb scoring and Serna moving up to second. Serna came around to score the Vikings’ 10th run on a single to left by freshman Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.).

Pagano ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth, allowing a pair of Bluejay runs, but Viking closer Joe Ufheil (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) came in and coaxed Bosco to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play with Hoffman turning the pivot at second.

Homolka, who went 6 1/3 innings, picked up the win and is now 1-0 on the season. Ufheil was credited with his seventh save of the year. Luft fell to 1-3 with the loss.

Game Two—Augustana 10, Elmhurst 5

The Viking offense matched its production from game one with 10 runs and 13 hits in game two, taking a 10-5 decision from the Bluejays. Hoffman added three more hits including his 10th double of the year and is now hitting .482. Leadoff man Kevin Serna had three hits and a pair of RBI as well.

Not surprisingly, it was Hoffman who got the Vikings going in the first, reaching on a two-out infield hit. He scored on a Cecchi single and two more runs scored on an Elmhurst error. Augustana gave starter Josiah Martin (Canton HS, Canton, Ill.) a 4-0 lead with another run in the top of the second. Serna drove in Jarl Dahlgren (Auburn HS, Rockford, Ill.) with a single to right field.

The Bluejays got to Martin for three in the third. Herrera’s two-run double was the big blow.

It stayed that way until the top of the sixth, when a McIntosh double, a triple from Lamb and another single by Serna put two more runs on the board, extending the lead to 6-3. Hoffman singled and scored on McIntosh’s double play grounder in the seventh to make it 7-3 Vikings.

The first three Bluejays reached in the bottom of the seventh, prompting Vikings head coach Greg Wallace to bring on Mike Trotta (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) in relief of Martin. Trotta gave up a single to the first batter he faced, but eventually pitched out of a bases loaded jam. Elmhurst scored twice, with both runs charged to Martin, to cut the lead to 7-5.

Augustana put the game away with three runs in the ninth. Once again it was Hoffman starting things with a leadoff double to left. Cecchi was walked intentionally and both came around to score on McIntosh’s single to center. McIntosh scored the final run of the day on a Dahlgren single.

Trotta was outstanding in relief, giving up just one hit and no runs over the final three innings. He was credited with his first save of the season, preserving the win for Martin—his fourth against two losses on the year. Bluejay starter Alex Bruneau went seven innings and took the loss to fall to 1-1.