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April 20, 2012

2012 Season - Vikings defeat Wheaton behind Trotta gem

Senior right-hander Mike Trotta fired a four-hit, complete game gem Friday as Augustana moved ahead of Wheaton in the CCIW standing with a 1-0 win at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field.

MOLINE, Ill.-Senior right-hander Mike Trotta (Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) fired a four-hit, complete game shutout Friday as Augustana moved to 20-10 overall and 7-6 in the CCIW with a 1-0 win over Wheaton at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. Joe Cecchi's (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) fourth-inning double plated Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) with the game's only run.

The only walk Trotta issued was with two outs in the first, but he got Thunder star Trey Martin to fly to left to end the inning.

The first two Wheaton batters reached in the second on a hit-by-pitch and single, but Trotta got a flyout and a 4-6-3 double play to escape unscathed. The final two batters of the inning started a string of 13 consecutive hitters that Trotta retired, as the Thunder didn't get another baserunner until a Drew Golz infield hit with two outs in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Wheaton starter Evan Rahn stranded a pair of Vikings in the third before the hosts got to him for the game's lone run in the fourth. Schmidt grounded a one-out single through the middle and was running on the pitch when Cecchi followed with a double down the right field line. The swift second baseman came all the way around to beat the Thunder relay at the plate, giving Augustana a 1-0 lead.

Mike Barker (Centennial, Colo. Grandview HS, Marina del Rey, Cal.) singled to start the Viking sixth. He was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Rahn got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.

In the top of the seventh, Trotta left a curveball inside and hit Martin to start the inning. Austin Driggers sacrificed Martin to second and he moved to third on a pitch in the dirt. Justin Swider then hit a chopper toward Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) at third. The Viking freshman gloved it and fired to catcher Jim Sandberg (JK Mullen HS, Littleton, Colo.), who applied the tag on Martin at the plate. Trotta got the final out of the inning on a pop to Schmidt at second.

The Thunder got a two-out single from Ryan Miller in the eighth, but he was gunned down by Sandberg attempting to steal second.

Rahn pitched around a Jacob VanDuyne (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth and Trotta went to the mound to finish things in the top of the ninth. Golz started the inning by lining a double down the left field line. The next batter, Justin Zeller, popped to second on the first pitch, bringing Martin to the plate. The Thunder slugger, who came into the game with 10 homers and 51 RBI, lofted a 2-1 pitch to deep right center, but Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) ran it down with Golz tagging and moving to third. Trotta then snapped off a two-strike curve to Driggers to record his fourth strikeout of the game and end the contest.

Trotta's performance moved his record to 6-0 this season and lowered his ERA to 1.75. VanDuyne had three hits and Schmidt two.

Rahn, who scattered eight Viking hits, was the tough-luck loser, falling to 4-3. The Thunder are now 17-13 on the year and a game back of the Vikings in the CCIW standings at 6-7.

The teams meet in Wheaton, Illinois tomorrow for a doubleheader beginning at noon.