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April 28, 2010

2010 Season - Vikings ride Heaton's pitching to 9-0 win

MOLINE, Ill.—Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.) threw seven shutout innings and fellow freshman Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.), along with junior Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.), blasted home runs as Augustana cruised to a 9-0 win over Dubuque Wednesday night at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The Vikings improve to 21-12 on the year while the Spartans drop to 8-23.

Augustana got on the board with four runs off Spartan starter Julian Cantu in the bottom of the third. Lamb followed a one-out Joe Cecchi (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) single with a two-run homer to right—his third of the season—to put the Vikings ahead 2-0. Kevin Serna then dropped a single into left field and advanced to third when the ball eluded Dubuque’s Todd Whited. He scored on Schmidt’s grounder to second to make it 3-0 and the final run of the inning was scored by Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Fox River Grove, Ill.), who walked and came around to score on Jared McIntosh’s (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) triple to center.

The Vikings added a pair of runs in the fifth. Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) led off with a single, stole second and scored when Hoffman reached on an error. Hoffman moved to third when McIntosh lofted a double just inside the left field line and scored on a Nick Kujawa (Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) ground out to first.

Meanwhile Heaton was coasting through his seven-inning outing. He allowed eight hits, walked two and hit two batters, but benefited from a defensive effort which saw the Vikings turn two double plays and throw out five other Spartan runners on the bases. Two of those were by Heaton himself, as he picked Whited off second base in the second inning and Austin Linderwell off of first in the sixth. McIntosh in left field, and Lamb in right, each threw out a Dubuque runner at third base and catcher T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier, Northbrook, Ill.) cut down a runner attempting to steal.

Four consecutive base-on-balls by Spartan relievers Jeffrey Stevens and Louis Dettorre pushed across an Augustana run in the seventh and Schmidt closed out the scoring with his second homer of the season—a two-run shot to left—in the eighth.

John Peters (Alleman HS, Milan, Ill.) threw a scoreless eighth and ninth to preserve the win for Heaton, who improves to 3-0 with the win. Cantu took the loss for Dubuque and is now 0-2 on the year. McIntosh and Serna each had two hits. Schmidt drove in three runs and Lamb and Kujawa, two each.

Next up for Augustana is a three-game home-and-home set with CCIW-leader North Central this weekend. The teams play a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field Saturday, May 1, and head to Naperville, Illinois for a single game at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 2.