Crown Point, Ind. – June 22, 2022 – All good things must come to an end.
That was the feeling for the Southland Vikings (11-8-1) as they fell to the Lake County Corn Dogs (16-6) by a final of 5-0. The Tuesday night matchup was the second time the Corn Dogs have shut out the Vikings this season and ended Southland’s six-game winning streak.
“We had some good at-bats,” Vikings coach Scott Nowakowski said. “Barreled some balls, just right at them and they made some good plays. I felt we [overall] did pretty good at the plate.”
The Vikings struggled to get anything going on Tuesday night, collecting just four hits as a team and leaving eight men on base, with the first hit for the ‘Vikes not coming until the third inning.
Blaze Cano led the inning off with a double, the first hit for Southland and the team’s only extra-base hit of the contest. After a Beau Polickey hit-by-pitch and then a fielder’s choice by Nick Daugherty, Kyle Fenner hit a single but wasn’t hit hard enough to get the runner in from second base. The Vikings would then have consecutive pop-outs to end the inning and their biggest offensive threat of the night.
One thing that kept Southland in the ballgame was their defense. Vikings starter Zack Zborowski had two successful pickoff attempts, a 1-3-6-2 attempt that saw the Vikings throw out a Corn Dog at the plate, and then a 1-3-6 pickoff to get a runner trying to steal second. In addition to the pickoffs, Blaze Cano made two spectacular diving stops.
Both stops were made while he was diving to his backhand and the speed of the baserunners did not matter, as Cano was able to throw both of them out.
“I don’t even know I made the play,” Cano said. “I just got the ball and I literally just threw a ground ball second to get him out and the second one just a hero play that’s all I could say.”
The Vikings will look to take the solid defense into Thursday when they return to Hammond’s Dowling Park to host the Joliet Generals. The game is slated for 5 p.m. and will be aired on Facebook Live and the Vikings Radio Network.