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May 2, 2010

2010 Season - Vikings drop heartbreaker in 9th inning

NAPERVILLE, Ill.—Matt Abraham singled in pinch runner Justin Moriarty with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday as North Central completed a three-game weekend sweep with a 4-3 win over Augustana. The Cardinal win spoiled an outstanding pitching effort by Viking freshman Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa), who allowed just one earned run in seven innings.  North Central maintains its lead in the CCIW at 15-3 (28-5 overall) while the Vikings fall to 21-15 overall and 5-13 in the conference.

McIntosh had matched Cardinal ace Nate Arenson, who came in 7-0, pitch-for-pitch much of the afternoon and the game went to the bottom of the seventh tied 1-1. A walk to Matt Burke and a Peter Romanello double scored the only earned run of the day off McIntosh and North Central added an unearned run in the inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Augustana got one run back in the top of the eighth when Kurt Schmidt’s (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) single scored pinch runner Matt Erickson (Marmion Academy, Channahon, Ill.). After Viking reliever Vince Frede (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) retired North Central in the eighth, Augustana got some help from the Cardinals to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Nick Kujawa (Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) led off by reaching on an error, moved to second on a passed ball and came around to score the tying run when North Central booted McIntosh’s sacrifice bunt attempt.

Andy Wulbecker led off the Cardinal ninth with a single to center and Moriarty came in to run for him. After getting Romanello to fly to Anthony Concialdi (Fremd HS, Barrington, Ill.) in right, Frede walked Nick Robinson. Frede fanned Dan Scott, but Robinson and Moriarty advanced to second and third on a passed ball and Abraham followed with a single to left center, scoring Moriarty to end the game.

McIntosh had a fine outing, allowing just three runs (one earned) on six hits to a Cardinal offense that came in averaging 10.4 runs per game. He walked three and struck out none in seven innings. Frede fell to 1-2 with the loss. Cardinal reliever Kevin Krajewski picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Another pair of freshmen paced the Viking offense. Schmidt had three hits as did catcher Jim Sandberg (J.K. Mullen HS, Littleton, Colo.) in just the second starting assignment of his career. Each had an RBI.

Augustana returns home to Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field for a non-conference game with Knox on Tuesday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.