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March 14, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings collect seven extra base hits in 14-5 baseball win over Illinois College

FORT MYERS, Florida – Helped along by seven extra base hits, the Augustana Vikings defeated Illinois College 14-5 on Saturday, March 14 in Fort Myers, Florida at Terry Park. Augustana bounced back nicely from the 9-6 defeat suffered at the hands of Babson just one day earlier when the Vikings issued 11 walks, hit two batters and committed five errors.

It was a different story on Saturday as they pounded four Illinois College pitchers for 17 hits, including home runs from Mark Ramos (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) and Aaron Hopson (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, Ill.) and triples out of Ramos, who actually hit two, and Eric Izzo (Lockport HS, Lockport, Ill.). They also made just one error in the field and pitchers Mike Pagano (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) and Mike O’Neill (Peoria Notre Dame HS, Peoria Heights, Ill.) combined to strike out 12 Blueboys while giving up just three base-on-balls and nine hits.

Ramos got things started with a triple to lead off the first inning and he scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of John Wagle (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.).

In the bottom of the third Izzo’s triple with the bases loaded put the Vikings up 4-0. Illinois College picked up an unearned run in the top of the fourth to cut the margin to 4-1 but Augustana had the answer in the bottom of the inning with four more runs. Mike Barker (Grandview HS, Centennial, Colo.) doubled in the first run and then Ramos lashed a triple that scored two more. Ramos came home when the throw from the outfield sailed into the third base dugout.

Hopson homed to lead off the fifth and Barker’s single drove home John Vezzetti (LaSalle Peru HS, Peru, Ill.), who had singled and moved to second on an error. That made the score 10-1 after five innings.

Illinois College picked up a single run in the top of the sixth and then in the seventh, Pagano tired a bit and gave up three to see the gap close to 10-5. O’Neill came on with two outs and struck out Taylor Springer with a runner on second to end the threat.

Ramos hit a two run home run in the seventh with Vezzetti on base to make it 12-5. In the eighth pinch hitter Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) singled home Izzo and Barker’s single brought in Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.), who had also singled.

That ended the scoring for the Vikings and O’Neill struck out designated hitter Clint Wherley with two runners on in the ninth to end the game.

Pagano worked 6 2/3 innings to pick up his third victory of the season against one loss. He struck out eight, walked just two and gave up seven hits. O’Neill went the final 2 1/3 innings and struck out four while giving up two hits and no runs.

Ramos led the offense with four hits in six at-bats while scoring four runs and collecting four RBI. He had a home run, two triples and a single. Barker went three for four from the ninth spot in the order and had three RBI. Izzo, Lamb and Vezzetti all had two hits with Izzo getting three RBI.

Augustana is now 10-3 on the season while Illinois College falls to 0-2.