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February 25, 2010

2010 Season - Season opens with sweep of Grove City

A two out single in the top of the seventh inning by freshman Nick Kujawa (Carl Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill.) drove in what proved to be the winning run as Augustana defeated Grove City 6-5 in the opening game of the 2010 season. The Vikings completed the double header sweep with a 7-2 win over Grove City in the nightcap of the twin-bill, which was played at Chain-O-Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Florida.

Heading into the top of the seventh Augustana trailed 5-4 when junior third baseman Dave Hoffman (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) singled with one out off Grove City starter Mike Herringshaw. After another out, junior catcher T.J. O’Donnell (New Trier HS, Northbrook, Ill.) tripled to plate Hoffman with the tying run. Kujawa then delivered his game winning hit, driving in O’Donnell.

In the bottom of the seventh inning sophomore Josiah Martin (Canton HS, Canton, Ill.) got the first out before walking Dan Quirk and giving up a single to Andrew Patterson. Martin gave way to sophomore Joe Ufheil (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) and Ufheil got the next two batters to preserve the victory. Martin, who worked 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter Matt Erickson (Marmion Academy, Channahon, Ill.), was credited with the victory.

Grove City jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs off Erickson in the bottom of the first inning. Augustana answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. O’Donnell walked and Kujawa reached on an error with O’Donnell moving to second. A single by junior Mike Lamb (Ottawa HS, Ottawa, Ill.) brought home O’Donnell to make it 2-1. Freshman shortstop Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Kujawa at third and moving Lamb to second. After Lamb was picked off at second for the second out of the inning, sophomore Mike Barker (Grandview HS – Colorado, now resides in Marina del Rey, California) doubled home Schmidt to tie the game.

Grove City scored three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-2 lead but Erickson settled down and pitched scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth before giving way to Martin in the sixth. Erickson finished the day with three strikeouts and just one walk while allowing six hits and five runs with four of those earned.

In the top of the third the Vikings scored a single run when freshman Jared McIntosh walked and eventually came home on a ground out off the bat of sophomore designated hitter Mike Trotta (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.). Augustana closed the gap to 5-4 in the top of the sixth when Barker ripped his second double of the game with Schmidt on first base. With two outs, Schmidt was running and scored to bring the Vikings within a run, setting up the heroics in the top of the seventh.

Kujawa and Barker each tallied three hits while Lamb and Hoffman had two apiece as Augustana picked up 12 hits off Herringshaw.

Senior Mike Pagano (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) tossed a five hit, complete game shutout in the nightcap as Augustana won 7-2. Pagano struck out six and walked one and was in complete control, taking a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh when Grove City struck for two runs.

The contest was scoreless heading into the bottom of the third inning when the Vikings erupted for three runs. With one out senior catcher Jarl Dahlgren (Rockford Auburn HS, Rockford, Ill.) was hit by a pitch. Barker singled him to second and sophomore second baseman Joe Moran (Niles Notre Dame HS, Chicago, Ill.) doubled, scoring Dahlgren and moving Barker to third. Lamb was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Hoffman singled to bring Barker home and move Moran to third and Lamb to second. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Trotta scored Moran.
Schmidt scored on Barker’s sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 4-0. In the fifth he produced a two run single to key a three run uprising.

Hoffman led the offense with three hits while Schmidt and Dahlgren each had two hits. The Vikings played errorless ball behind the pitching of Pagano.
 
Augustana will have tomorrow off before resuming play on Saturday, February 27 against Farmingdale State, a 2009 NCAA Division III World Series participant at 3:00 p.m. at Disney Hess Field #5 in Winter Haven.