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May 10, 2013

Vikings win CCIW tournament opener

Sophomore Seth Davis threw a complete-game four-hitter Friday afternoon as Augustana opened CCIW tournament play with a 4-1 win over North Park in Bloomington, Illinois.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- Sophomore Seth Davis (Mullen HS, Aurora, Colo.) fired his fifth complete game of the season Friday afternoon, leading Augustana to a 4-1 win over North Park in the first round of the CCIW tournament at Illinois Wesleyan. The 18th-ranked Vikings, now 30-8 on the year, take on the 25th-ranked hosts at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening. North Park, 20-20, falls to the losers' bracket.

Third-seeded North Park took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Joe Belmonte led off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second by Zak Worsley. With two outs, Mike Coduto blooped a single to center, plating Belmonte with the game's first run. Davis ended the frame by picking Coduto off first, starting a string of three straight innings in which he recorded a pickoff.  

Augustana, the tournament's second seed, took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Sophomore Nick Tenerelli (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) and senior Mark VanNatta (Alleman HS, Moline, Ill.) started the inning with back-to-back singles. After sophomore Brandon Jasper (DeWitt Central HS, DeWitt, Iowa) moved the runners to second and third with a groundout, classmate Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) ripped a two-run double down the left field line.  

Meanwhile, Davis was cruising through the middle innings. After picking North Park runners off in the fourth and fifth innings, he pitched around a hit batter in the sixth and struck out the side in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Danny Fifer (Lincoln-Way West HS, New Lenox, Ill.) led off with a single to left and scored an important insurance run on a North Park error.  

North Park mounted a threat in the eighth. Lou Diaz drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a Belmonte single. Davis fanned Worsley for the first out, but was called for a balk with Rick DiVito at the plate. With runners at second and third, Davis struck out DiVito and got Caduto to ground to Kurt Schmidt (Grayslake Central HS, Grayslake, Ill.) at second to end the inning.  

Jasper's second double of the game and another North Park error led to the game's final run in the bottom of the eighth.  

Davis retired North Park in order in the ninth. He allowed just four singles in the game, walked two and fanned eight to get the win and improve to 7-1 this year. North Park starter Wes Mleziva (5-3) took the loss. Fifer and Jasper each had two of the Vikings' nine hits. Lenihan drove in a pair of runs.