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April 25, 2012

2012 Season - 19-hit attack leads to 11-4 win over Grinnell

Senior left fielder Mike Barker hit a three-run homer and had another of Augustana's 19 hits as well in an 11-4 win over Grinnell at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field Wenesday night.

MOLINE, Ill.- Mike Barker (Centennial, Colo. Grandview HS, Marina del Rey, Cal.) got Augustana on the board with a three-run homer and the Vikings went on to pile up 19 hits Wednesday night on their way to an 11-4 win over Grinnell at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field. Junior second baseman Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) had four hits as Augustana improved to 22-11 on the year.

The game was scoreless through two and a half innings as Grinnell's Max Jacobson left Augustana runners stranded at second and third in the bottom of the second and Viking starter Kevin Hodgman (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) faced the minimum through three.

The Vikings got to Jacobson in the home half of the third, however. Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) led off with an infield hit and moved to second on a Jacob VanDuyne (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) sacrifice. Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) coaxed a walk and Barker followed with his first home run of the year over the left field fence to put Augustana on top 3-0.

After Grinnell made it 3-1 with a run in the top of the fourth, the Vikings added a pair of runs in the bottom half and another in the fifth. After two were out in the fourth, Serna and VanDuyne lined back-to-back doubles and Juhl drove in VanDuyne with a single to center. In the fifth, Schmidt led off with a double, stole third and scored on a single to center by freshman third baseman Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.).

Augustana took that 6-1 lead into the top of the seventh. Jackson Markey started the frame with a bunt single. It looked to be harmless enough when Hodgman, who had cruised to that point, got the next two Pioneers out. However, consecutive walks loaded the bases and brought in freshman reliever Eric Egan (Oswego East HS, Aurora, Ill.). He gave up a walk, a hit batsman and a single to right as Grinnell cut the lead to 6-4. Junior Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.) came out of the pen and got the final out, leaving the bags full of Pioneers.

The hosts came right back to put the game out of reach with two in the bottom of the seventh and three more in the eighth. Four of the Vikings' six hits in those two innings came on bunts and the final two runs scored when Schmidt delivered his fourth hit of the night, a single off the bag at third.

Heaton set the Pioneers down in order in the eighth and left a pair of runners stranded in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season. Hodgman went 6 2/3 innings and got the win to improve to 2-1 on the year.

Schmidt ended up 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in. VanDuyne and Juhl were each 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Serna was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Barker 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI. Six of the Vikings' 19 hits went for extra bases.

Next up for coach Greg Wallace's club is a key three-game set with Illinois Wesleyan which opens with a single game Friday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. at Swanson/Brunner.