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April 27, 2013

Vikings rally for split with Wheaton

Freshman left-hander Tom Bolle threw 2 2/3 shutout innings in his collegiate debut Saturday. He picked up the win as Augustana beat Wheaton 8-7 in the nightcap of their doubleheader at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field.

MOLINE, Ill.-A five-run seventh inning keyed an Augustana comeback Saturday as the Vikings saved a doubleheader split with an 8-7 game-two win over Wheaton. The Thunder took the opener at Swanson Stadium/Brunner Field 4-1. 16th-ranked Augustana is now 26-7 on the year and 12-5 in the CCIW. Wheaton is 11-22 overall and 7-10 in the league.

Game One - Wheaton 4, Augustana 1   

Wheaton's Michael Kauffman limited the Vikings to just one unearned run on eight hits in the opener. Meanwhile, the Thunder got to Augustana starter Jared McIntosh (Assumption HS, Davenport, Iowa) for four unearned runs in the first two innings.  

Wheaton parlayed a bunt single, a walk, an error and a passed ball into a first-inning run. Viking third baseman Kyle Lenihan (Romeoville HS, Romeoville, Ill.) cut down a runner at the plate to avoid further damage. The Thunder added three runs on five hits and two errors in the second, although Augustana again threw a runner out at the plate.  

In the bottom of the third, Jacob Van Duyne's (Wilmington HS, Wilmington, Ill.) leadoff bunt single and an error led to Augustana's lone run of the game. Danny Fifer (Lincoln-Way West HS, New Lenox, Ill.) singled Van Duyne in.  

That would be all of the scoring in the game as Kauffman continued to stymie the Viking bats and freshman Brandon Bollman (Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort, Ill.) came out of the Augustana bullpen to shut the Thunder out for the final seven innings. He allowed six hits and fanned four without issuing a walk.  

McIntosh took the loss, falling to 5-3 this year. Sophomore catcher Nick Tenerelli (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, Ill.) had the Vikings' only multi-hit game with a pair of singles.  

Game Two - Augustana 8, Wheaton 7  

Trailing 6-3 going to the bottom of the seventh in the nightcap, Augustana erupted for five runs and the held on through the eighth and ninth, leaving two Wheaton runners stranded in each inning. All eight of the Vikings' runs and all five of the team's hits came in the fourth and seventh innings.  

Senior Jeremy Juhl (Glenbard East HS, Lombard, Ill.) led off the pivotal seventh with walk. Tenerelli followed with a base-on-balls and Lenihan advanced them both with a sacrifice. Van Duyne grounded to second, scoring Juhl and moving Tenerelli to third. After Fifer was hit by a pitch, Kurt Schmidt delivered a two-run double to right center to tie it at 6-6. Grant Stewart (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) followed with an RBI double down the right field line to give the hosts the lead. David Balzer (Morris HS, Morris, Ill.) singled to center, scoring Stewart with the final run of the inning.  

Rick Erickson (Lake Zurich HS, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) came on in the eighth to protect the lead. Wheaton scored a run on a passed ball, but Lenihan again threw out a Thunder runner trying to score to end the inning and preserve the lead. Wheaton put two runners on in the ninth, but couldn't push across the tying run. Juhl made a key play, keeping John Johnson's single on the infield and pinch-runner Matt Ferretti at third with the potential tying run. Erickson got Josh Kimmel to line to Stewart at first to end the game.  

Wheaton took a 4-0 lead with two runs in each of the first two innings. Augustana answered with three in the bottom of the fourth and Wheaton added two in the top of the fifth.  

Freshman Tom Bolle (Metea Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) threw 2 2/3 shutout innings in his collegiate debut and picked up the win. Schmidt went two for four with two runs scored and two driven in. Balzer drove in two runs and Fifer scored a pair.  

Augustana plays a single game at Elmhurst on Sunday, April 28 at 4:00 p.m.