Three hits enough for VikesPublished 6:34pm Sunday, May 13, 2012
SOUTH BEND —Talk about making your hits count.
Niles had just three hits on the day, but they all came in the third inning on back-to-back-to-back doubles that produced two runs and a 2-1 victory over Penn at Coveleski Stadium Saturday.
The Kingsmen (14-8) outhit the Vikings 7-3 in the game, but couldn’t cash in on a couple of scoring opportunities early in the game. They finally broke through in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Niles.
The Vikings (11-12) had to overcome adversity even before the game began. Scheduled starting pitcher Taylor Campbell was hit in the eye during warm-ups. Niles coach Mike Vota asked him if he wanted to go, which he did.
Campbell responded with his best performance in some time. He worked three innings, allowing just three hits with a strikeout.
“He got hit while playing catch and his eye is about half swollen shut,” Vota said. “I said, you still going to get this? He was like ‘oh yeah, coach.’ There was no stopping him. That told me a lot us, a lot about our kids and a lot about our team right there.”
With both teams locked in a scoreless battle, the Vikings were down to their last out of the bottom half of the third when Matthew McLaughlin strolled to the plate.
He hit a ball that landed at the base of the fence in left field for a double. Campbell followed with a double in the left-center field gap to plate McLaughlin for the game’s first run. Chris Mangus followed with a booming double to score Campbell with what turned out to be the game-winning run.
“We got the big hits when we needed it and that was good to see,” Vota said. “We hit some other balls hard that they tracked down and they hit some balls that we tracked down. The outfielders today on both teams did a nice job of going to get the ball.”
Tate Brawley worked the fourth and fifth innings, allowing two hits. Mitchell Dehn came on in the sixth and gave up one run on two hits before slamming the door on the Kingsmen.
Penn’s one in the sixth came off a triple by Chad Gindelberger, which was followed up by a single by Kyle Richard.
Penn 000 001 0 – 1 7 0
Niles 002 000 x – 2 3 1
Taylor Campbell (W), Tate Brawley (4), Mitchell Dehn (6) and Tyler Parish; Cameron Glaze (L), Landon Stratford (4) and Jordon Gosztola
2B: Alex Hostetler (P), Matthew McLaughlin (N), Campbell (N), Chris Mangus (N)
3B: Chad Gindelberger (P)