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March 27, 2011

2011 Season - Aurora rallies to defeat Vikings in 11

Aurora's Joe Singraber just beats T.J. O'Donnell's tag to score the tying run in the top of the ninth Saturday. Despite O'Donnell's three hits, Aurora went on to win the contest, 7-4 in 11 innings.

MOLINE, Ill.-Aurora tied the game with a run in the top of the ninth inning and scored four runs in the 11th to pull out a 7-4 win over Augustana Sunday afternoon at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The Vikings, now 10-2 on the year, led 3-2 going to the ninth, but the Spartans pushed across the tying run before breaking the game open in the 11th.

 The 15th-ranked Vikings drew first blood with a run in the bottom of the first. After Aurora starter Drew Gay got the first two Augustana hitters, Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) grounded a single up the middle and T.J. O'Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.) was hit by a pitch to bring freshman Pat Wilson (Stevenson HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) to the plate. With two strikes, Wilson waited back on a breaking ball and dumped it into right field to score Hoffman with the game's first run.

 Viking starter Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two singles while fanning seven, before the Spartans touched him for a pair of runs in the sixth. Tim Mackey started things with a one-out bunt single and came around to score on Ryan Adams' triple to center. Brett VanAsdlen's sacrifice fly to left scored Adams with the go ahead run.

 Augustana came right back to re-take the lead with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Anthony Concialdi (Fremd HS, Barrington, Ill.) led off the frame by reaching on an error and Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) sacrificed him to second. After tagging and moving to third on a fly ball to right, Concialdi scored on a Joe Moran (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) single through the middle to tie the game 2-2. Hoffman and O'Donnell followed with singles, with Moran scoring on O'Donnell's to make it 3-2 Vikings after six.

 Mike Trotta (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) came on to relieve McIntosh to start the seventh and threw two scoreless innings. Meanwhile Nick Czaja came on for Gay in the sixth and held the Vikings hitless in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

 Vince Frede (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) replaced Trotta to start the ninth. After getting the first out of the inning, he yielded an infield hit to Joe Singraber and a double to left by Mike Foley that scored Singraber with the tying run. Augustana avoided further damage when a Spartan squeeze attempt failed and Foley was tagged out at home.

 Ray Homolka (Glenbard West HS, Wheaton, Ill.) came on to start the 10th and pitched out of a two-one no-out jam, to keep the score 3-3. Cjaza continued to coast, setting the Vikings down in order in the bottom of the 10th.

 After retiring the first batter in the 11th and getting two strikes on Foley, Homolka hit him with a pitch. Homolka then made a fine stop of Ryan Payne's hot shot up the middle, but his throw to second pulled Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) off the bag, putting runners at first and second. Bobby Wilson's single to right scored Foley with the go-ahead run. Mackey drove in another run with a single and Aurora's final two tallies came on a passed ball and an Adams RBI single.

 Trailing 7-3, the Vikings had a chance in the bottom of the 11th. Tyler Bernal (LaSalle-Peru HS, LaSalle, Ill.) led off with a walk which knocked Czaja from the game. Hoffman then drilled a pitch by Spartan reliever Nick Pagano into the gap in right-center. Bernal came around to score, but Hoffman was gunned down trying for a triple on a nice relay from Anthony Amedei. Pagano finished the inning without further incident to secure the win for the Spartans.

 Hoffman and O'Donnell each had three hits for Augustana, while Wilson and Moran had two each. Homolka took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year.

 The Vikings open CCIW play next weekend. They play a single game at Wheaton on Friday, April 1 at 3:00 p.m. and then host the Thunder in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 2, beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field.