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April 21, 2013

Vikings can't complete series sweep of IWU

Sophomore catcher Nick Tenerelli had a pair of hits Sunday, including a double, but Augustana missed an opportunity for a three-game series sweep of Illinois Wesleyan, falling 7-6 in Bloomington, Illinois.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-Illinois Wesleyan pushed across two runs in the bottom of the eighth Sunday to defeat Augustana 7-6 and prevent a series sweep by the Vikings in the teams' three-game weekend set. Augustana falls to 23-6 overall and 10-4 in the CCIW, while the Titans improve to 23-7 overall and 13-2 in the league.

For the third straight game, the visitors jumped out to an early lead only to have the hosts eventually come back for the win. After leaving the bases loaded in the first, the Vikings got four runs off IWU starter Nick Mehn in the second. A two-run Grant Stewart (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) single to right was the big hit. Nick Tenerelli (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) doubled and Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) drove him in with a single in the third as Augustana extended its lead to 5-0.  

That would be the high point f the day for the Vikings as Illinois Wesleyan began whittling away at the deficit with a pair of runs off Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.) in the bottom of the third. A pair of errors in the frame hurt the Vikings.  

Mark VanNatta (Alleman HS, Moline, Ill.) singled in Danny Fifer (Lincoln-Way West HS, New Lenox, Ill.) to make it 6-2 in the fourth, but Titan left fielder Zach Scott cut down Stewart trying to score on the play to keep the deficit at four runs.  

IWU parlayed three hits into a run each in the fourth and fifth, cutting the Augustana lead to 6-4. Heaton stranded two runners in each of those innings and then retired the Titans without incident in the sixth.  

The seventh inning proved to be crucial. Singles by Jacques Camalick (Hinsdale Central HS, Burr Ridge, Ill.), Van Natta and Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) loaded the bases with no outs in the top half, but John Munyon relieved Mehn and got IWU out of the inning unscathed. In the bottom of the frame, the Titans knocked Heaton out of the contest and put another run on the board to get within 6-5.  

Two doubles and Augustana's third error of the game led to two IWU runs in the eighth. The Vikinga put a couple runners on in the top of the ninth, but couldn't push across  the tying run.  

Freshman Walter White (East Peoria HS, East Peoria, Ill.) fell to 3-2 with the loss, although he didn't allow an earned run in an inning and two thirds of relief. Munyon, yesterday's game-two loser, got the win to improve to 6-2.  

Five Vikings had a pair of hits each, but Augustana left 13 runners stranded in the contest.  

After having their five-game winning streak snapped, the Vikings will try and get back on the winning track when they host Coe in a non-conference game at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field on Tuesday, April 23 beginning at 7:00 p.m.