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May 3, 2011

2011 Season - Vikings take a pair from Knox

Augustana sophomore Joe Cecchi went five innings and picked up the win in his collegiate pitching debut Tuesday. His performance helped the Vikings sweep a doubleheader from Knox, 12-5 and 8-1.

MOLINE, Ill.-Augustana sophomore Joe Cecchi (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) went five solid innings in his collegiate pitching debut and picked up the win as the Vikings defeated Knox 8-1 to complete a doubleheader sweep Tuesday night at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. Augustana won the opener 12-5 and is now 23-11 on the season.

Game One: Augustana 12, Knox 5

  The Vikings used a pair of five-run innings to take game one. With the game tied 1-1 after two and a half innings, Augustana scored five in the bottom of the third. After the Prairie Fire narrowed the advantage to 6-4 with three runs in the fourth, the hosts added five more in the fifth.

 Anthony Concialdi (Fremd HS, Barrington, Ill.) started the first big inning for the Vikings, lining a double to right center. Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) drove him in with a single to right and move to second when Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) reached on an error. Freshman shortstop Zac Chuvala (Rocky Mountain HS, Fort Collins, Colo.) dropped a bunt down the third base line for a hit and all three runners moved up a base when the throw went down the right field line. Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Fox River Grove, Ill.) drove in a run with a single to left to make it 4-1 and Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) capped the inning by pounding a two-run triple to right center.

 The Prairie Fire cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the fourth. They parlayed three singles, a hit batsman, a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch into three runs off Viking starter Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.).

  Chuvala led off the Augustana fifth with a single. One out later he moved to second on a Pat Wilson (Stevenson HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) hit. McIntosh lined a single to right to score Chuvala. Mike Barker (Centennial, Colo. Grandview HS, Marina Del Rey, Cal.) and Concialdi drove in runs with a single and a fielder's choice, respectively, and the final two runs of the frame scored on Knox errors as the Vikings built the lead back up to 11-4.

 Chuvala started the bottom of the sixth with a bad-hop double to right and scored Augustana's final run, coming home on a Wilson single. Knox got a run off Heaton in the top of the seventh, but he pitched out of a jam, leaving the bases loaded.

 Heaton battled his way to a complete game victory, improving to 4-2 on the year. He allowed five runs on eight hits, walked five and struck out four. Offensively, Chuvala and Wilson each had three hits. Chuvala also scored three times and McIntosh drove in three runs with a pair of hits.

Game Two: Augustana 8, Knox 1

  Cecchi's performance was the story in game two. The sophomore surrendered just one run on three hits in his five-inning stint. He walked three and fanned five in his pitching debut for Augustana.

 The Vikings staked Cecchi to a 1-0 in the bottom of the first. Juhl led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a Hoffman single to right. Knox also used a leadoff walk-this one in the top of the third-to score its only run off Cecchi. Michael Schroeder drew a base-on-balls to start the inning and came around to score on a Carl Hammer single.

 Augustana responded with three runs in the bottom of the third, one each in the fourth and fifth and a pair in the seventh. Lamb singled, stole second and scored on an error in the third. Hoffman and McIntosh added RBI singles as well. Jim Sandberg (J.K. Mullen HS, Littleton, Colo.) had a leadoff single and scored on a Chuvala fielder's choice in the fourth. Barker singled, stole second and scored on Jacob VanDuyne's (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) RBI single in the fifth and Wilson's two-run triple to right in the sixth finished the scoring.

 Rick Erickson (Lake Zurich HS, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) and Josiah Martin (Canton HS, Canton, Ill.) each threw a scoreless inning in relief of Cecchi. Hoffman and Wilson each had two hits and two RBI in the nightcap.

 The Vikings host Dubuque in a 6:00 p.m. doubleheader Wednesday, May 4. Both games are scheduled for seven innings.