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March 22, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings beat Aurora 8-2 behind Aaron Hopson's sixth inning grand slam

MOLINE, Illinois – Aaron Hopson (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, Ill.) drilled a grand slam home run to deep left field in the sixth inning to key Augustana’s 8-2 non-conference victory over Aurora on Sunday, March 22 at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The victory was the third straight for the Vikings, who are now 12-3 on the season while Aurora falls to 9-4.

Augustana trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning after the Spartans scratched out single runs in the fifth and sixth off starter Matt Erickson (Marmion Academy, Channahon, Ill.). With one out Dave Hoffman (Cary Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) doubled off Aurora starter Steve Salazar. John Wagle (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) and Eric Izzo (Lockport HS, Lockport, Ill.) both walked to load the bases. Hopson then drove an offering from Salazar deep over the fence in left to turn the game around.

The Vikings picked up two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth for insurance purposes.  In the seventh Hoffman singled with one out and Wagle doubled him to third. Izzo then singled to score both Hoffman and Wagle. In the eighth Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) singled to lead things off. He stole second and went to third on a ground out. He scored on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt.  Mike Trotta (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) singled with two outs and scored on a double to right field by Hoffman.

Erickson worked six innings and struck out five while allowing five hits. He got out of a bases-loaded situation in the third without allowing a run and in the fifth he left two Spartans stranded after giving up a run. He coaxed a double play ball to wiggle out of a jam in the sixth after giving up one run. Erickson moved his record to 3-1 with the win.

Vince Frede (St. Charles East HS, St. Charles, Ill.) came in for Erickson to start the seventh and he worked the final three innings and gave up just two hits while striking out three. He left the bases loaded in the eighth with a huge strikeout. Frede picked up his first save of the season.

The Vikings hammered 12 hits against three Aurora pitchers with Hoffman leading the way with three. Wagle and Izzo each had two.