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April 21, 2010

2010 Season - Wild win secures 13th straight 20 win season

A game that saw a total of 46 players, including 12 pitchers, and lasted nearly four hours, finally ended after 10 innings with Augustana on top. The Vikings scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning and then reliever Vince Frede (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) shut the door on Benedictine in the bottom of the frame to preserve a wild 10-8 victory.

With the win Augustana moved to 20-9 on the season and it marks the 13th consecutive year that veteran head coach Greg Wallace’s club has reached the 20-victory plateau.

The game featured 32 hits (15 by Augustana and 17 by the Eagles) and in one spot in the Viking batting order Wallace used six different players. However, the contest only had two errors and both were committed by Benedictine.

Jared McIntosh (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) was the hitting star for the Vikings as he collected four hits in six at-bats with two runs scored and one RBI.

After a scoreless first inning, both teams got to work in the second. Augustana put three runs on the board with a two run double by Joe Cecchi (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) with two outs serving as the big blow. Benedictine answered with three runs off Viking starter Tyler Willis (Lockport HS, Homer Glen, Ill.) in the bottom of the frame.

The Eagles grabbed a 5-3 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, chasing Willis from the hill in favor of Kevin Kulin (Benet Academy, Lemont, Ill.).  In the top of the fifth Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) singled to right to lead things off. He advanced to second on a throwing error and came home on a single to center off the sizzling bat of Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.). Hoffman came into the game batting close to .500 for the season.

That trimmed the margin to 5-4 and the Vikings grabbed the lead in the top of the sixth with a pair of manufactured runs. With one out T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.) was hit by a pitch. Cecchi singled to right field and pushed O’Donnell to third. Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) then executed a sacrifice bunt that scored O’Donnell and moved Cecchi to second. Juhl came up with his second hit of the night and drove in Cecchi to make it 6-5.

Benedictine answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-6 lead. In the top of the seventh Tyler Wilson (Valparaiso HS, Valparaiso, Ind.) singled in a pair to tie the game at 8-8.

The Eagles were threatening to end it in the bottom of the ninth when they put runners on first and second with just one out. Frede came on and struck out two to put out the fire.

That set Augustana up in the 10th and O’Donnell led off with a walk. He was sacrificed to second by Cecchi and then gave way to pinch runner Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.). Serna singled and Schmidt stopped at third base. After the second out of the inning, Hoffman walked to load the bases. Nick Kujawa (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) walked to bring home Schmidt with the lead run and McIntosh followed with a single to score Serna but Hoffman was thrown out at the plate for the third out of the inning.

In the 10th Frede retired the first two batters before giving up a single and a walk. He coaxed the third out on a ground ball to second base and the marathon ended.

McIntosh had four hits to lead the way but Cecchi, Serna, Juhl and Wilson all had two hits.