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April 28, 2012

2012 Season - Vikings sweep CCIW co-leader Illinois Wesleyan

Freshman Kyle Lenihan had RBI singles in the 8th and 10th innings of the second game Saturday as Augustana overcame a 3-1 eighth-inning deficit to defeat Illinois Wesleyan 4-3. The Vikings also won the opener of their doubleheader in Bloomington, Illinois, 9-5.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-Augustana's Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) singled in Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) with the go ahead run in the top of the 10th inning of game two Saturday and reliever Josiah Martin (Canton HS, Canton, Ill.) set the Titans down in the bottom of the frame to sew up a key doubleheader sweep at Illinois Wesleyan. The Vikings took the opener 9-5 before rallying from a two-run, eighth-inning deficit to win the nightcap 4-3.

Martin finished both games and picked up the win in the second one as Augustana improved to 24-12 overall and 10-8 in the CCIW. Illinois Wesleyan, which started the day tied for first in the league standings, fell to 23-12 on the year and 10-8 in the conference.

GAME ONE: AUGUSTANA 9, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 5

The top three hitters in the Viking order each had three hits to pace a 17-hit attack in Augustana's 9-5 game one win. Mike Barker (Centennial, Colo. Grandview HS, Marina del Rey, Cal.), hitting out of the three hole, led the way, going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three driven in.

The Vikings got production from the rest of the order as well, scoring in each of the first six innings, including a four-run fourth. Meanwhile freshman left-hander Seth Davis (JK Mullen HS, Aurora, Colo.) kept the Titans off the board until the bottom of the fifth as Augustana built up an 8-0 lead.

The visitors took the lead when Jacob VanDuyne (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) and Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) started the game with back-to-back singles and Barker brought in VanDuyne with a sacrifice fly to center field. A two-out triple by Kevin Serna (Rolling Meadows HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) and an RBI single from VanDuyne made it 2-0 after two innings and Joe Cecchi's (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) sac fly in the third scored Barker, who had walked, to make it 3-0 Augustana.

In the fourth, Serna and VanDuyne delivered back-to-back one-out singles to knock Titan starter John Freuh out of the game in favor of Nick Mehn. One out later, Barker drove in Serna with a single to right. Grant Stewart (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) loaded the bases with a bunt single and Schmidt followed with a two-run single to right center. Cecchi's RBI single to left made it 7-0 Augustana after three and a half.

A two-out single by Juhl and Barker's RBI double to left center in the top of the fifth made it 8-0 before the Titans finally got to Davis in the bottom of the frame. He issued a one-out walk to Zach Scott and a two-out walk to A.J. Nathan and Kevin Callahan followed with his eighth home run of the season to cut the Viking lead to 8-3. Davis bounced back by fanning cleanup hitter Jonathan Erickson to end the inning.

The Vikings got one of those runs back in the sixth, when Schmidt led off with a triple to left and Cecchi drove him in with a single to left.

The hosts threatened in the seventh, using an Augustana error, a single and a hit batsman to load the bases with one out. That brought Ben Heaton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Heyworth, Ill.) in to relieve Davis, and the junior right-hander coaxed an inning-ending double play from Erickson to keep IWU from scoring.

The Titans touched Heaton for a pair of runs in the eighth, but Martin retired them without incident in the ninth to seal the victory.

In addition to three hits each for VanDuyne, Juhl and Barker, the Vikings got two knocks each from Schmidt, Cecchi and Serna. Like Barker, Cecchi drove in three runs and Serna and Juhl scored twice. Davis got the win to improve to 3-1 on the year. He fanned nine in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed just four hits and walked five.

GAME TWO: AUGUSTANA 4, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 3 (10 INNINGS)

Another 3-run homer off the bat of Callahan had the Vikings in a 3-1 hole as they came to bat in the eighth inning of the nightcap.

After Barker singled to lead off the inning, Stewart grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Augustana was down to its last four outs with no one on. Schmidt kept the inning alive with a single and stole second. After a walk to Cecchi, Schmidt was running again, stealing third as a pitch to Lenihan got away. Cecchi moved to second on the play. Lenihan delivered a single that scored Schmidt to make it 3-2 Titans. Cecchi and Lenihan then executed a double steal with Cecchi stealing home to score the tying run.

Illinois Wesleyan put together a threat in the bottom of the ninth. Anthony Lopez singled against Rick Erickson (Lake Zurich HS, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) leading off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Erickson, who struck out six in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, fanned Scott before yielding to Martin. The Viking bullpen ace whiffed pinch-hitter Josh Levy, walked Mark McDermott intentionally and got Nathan to hit an inning-ending come-backer.

Stewart led off the Augustana 10th with a walk. He was forced out on an unsuccessful sacrifice attempt by Schmidt, who advanced to second on a Cecchi groundout. That brought Lenihan to the plate, and the freshman third baseman came through with his second RBI single in a row, scoring Schmidt with the go-ahead run.

The Titans had a runner reach on an error in the bottom of the 10th, but Martin closed them out for the second time on the day. The senior didn't allow a hit in either of his appearances and improved to 4-1 this season with the game two win. Junior Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) got the start and went 4 2/3 innings. Erickson was outstanding in his 3 2/3 innings.

All of the Vikings' 13 hits were singles and they stole six bases in the contest. Lenihan led the way, going 3-for-5 with the two big RBI. Juhl, Barker and Stewart each had two hits in the nightcap. Schmidt was 1-for-3 with two stolen bases, two runs scored and one driven in.

Next up for Augustana is a non-conference game with Dubuque on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field.