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April 1, 2012

2012 Season - Vikings drop series finale to Elmhurst 11-5

Junior first baseman Grant Stewart went 3-for-5 with two RBI Sunday, but Augustana dropped an 11-5 decision to Elmhurst at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field.

MOLINE, Ill.-Elmhurst scored in each of the first four innings Sunday, including four runs each in the third and fourth, and handed Augustana an 11-5 defeat at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. The Vikings are now 13-5 on the season and 1-2 in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin play. The Bluejays improve to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the league.

Augustana starter Brian Konecke (Lakes Community HS, Itasca, Ill.) ran into trouble right of the bat. Bluejay leadoff man Brain Evans singled through the middle and Marc Shield and Dave Wolak each followed with bloop singles to load the bases. Tim Nolan grounded into a 6-4-3 double play with Evans coming home with the game's first run, but Konecke avoided further damage in the inning by getting Tyler Wargo to fly to center.

Eric Stevenson's second-inning RBI single made it 2-0 Elmhurst after an inning and a half. The Vikings cut the deficit to one with a run in the bottom half. They got a one-out single from Mike Barker (Centennial Colo. Grandview HS, Marina del Rey, Cal.) and a two-out double to left center by Joe Cecchi (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.). Barker came home when freshman catcher Nicholas Tenerelli (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) reached on an error, but Bluejay starter Dave Parr got Mark VanNatta (Alleman HS, Moline, Ill.) to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Elmhurst broke things open with four runs each in the third and fourth innings. Wargo's two-run single into the right field corner was the big hit in the third. Kennedy followed with a sacrifice fly to center, knocking Konecke from the game. In the fourth, the Bluejays parlayed four singles, two errors and a hit batsman into four more runs to take a 10-1 lead.

Augustana tallied a run in the sixth on a Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) double, a single by Barker and an RBI fielder's choice by Grant Stewart (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.). The Vikings put their best threat together in the bottom of the eighth. With Joe Ramirez on in relief of Parr, McIntosh and Cecchi sandwiched walks around a Stewart single, loading the bases with one out. Jim Sandberg (J.K. Mullen HS, Littleton, Colo.) followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 10-3 and Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) walked to load the bases again. However, Ramirez struck out freshman Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) swinging to end the threat.

Elmhurst added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. RBI singles in the bottom of the frame by Barker and Stewart, who each had three hits in the contest, accounted for the final of 11-5.

VanDuyne had two hits. McIntosh scored twice and Stewart drove in a pair.

The Vikings jump right back into CCIW action, hosting a doubleheader against North Central on Tuesday, April 3. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.