Vikings Timely Hitting and Big Fifth Inning Propels Vikings Over Panthers

06/06/2023 1:48 PM -

Just like last match-up with the Vikings, the Panthers found themselves with a two run lead courtesy of two triples in the top of the second inning. Cameron Hill stood on third with one out as he was brought in by another rope triple from Josh Williams. Williams then scored on a wild pitch for the second run of the contest.

The Panthers were in a good spot for their starting arm, who was cruising. The Panthers got to experience 4.1 innings of dominance from right-handed pitcher Jorge Santos. Santos retired the first twelve batters he faced and it was looking like smooth sailing going forward. 

“My fastball was working. I was feeling good and made sure I could work ahead.”

However, Santos began to lose his command and struggled to spin his off-speed pitches. Santos walked the first batter he saw in the fifth and an error followed right after that. He then walked the following batter to load the bases. With a no-hitter still on the line, Santos gave up his first hit to Vikings’ catcher Matt Merk, and it tied the game. The following batters singled, walked, popped out, and walked in that order and it was clear Santos was becoming fatigued and was losing control of his pitches. Santos admitted that fatigue as well as it being his first start in a long period of time was responsible for his struggle to go deep into the game. 

“I am coming off a surgery so I did not want to rush anything. I really did feel tired in the middle of that fifth inning. Started off good, but then got really tired and I think that is what led to my downfall.”

Santos added that this is a start he could definitely build off of as well as raising his own expectations for his next start whenever that will be.

“I for sure can build on this. Four perfect innings. I can build on it, but it has just got to be better. Next start it will be better.” 

Alberto Lamas made his first appearance for the Indiana Panthers and inherited a bases loaded, one out jam. Lamas allowed a runner to score on a fielder’s choice ground ball and then a fly out to get out of the inning and keep the Panthers in the game.

The Vikings brought in a new pitcher in the top of the sixth and the Panthers cut the deficit and tacked on two runs. Josh Williams continued his fantastic day at the plate by doubling to once again bring in Cam Hill. Josh Ballard picked up a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 5-4 ballgame. 

Both teams went scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, where the Vikings picked up three major insurance runs. Jimmy Gurgone doubled to bring in a run and then advanced to third after a wild pitch. Lamas walked Ragsdale III to make it first and third and Ragsdale III stole second easily. Lamas then threw a dirt ball that got away from Hunter Hryck. Gurgone scored easily, but Hryck could not find the ball and the speedy Ragsdale III scored from second base. 

Neither team recorded a hit for the remainder of the game and Vikings’ pitcher Jacob Cook was able to complete his three inning outing topped off with his first save of the season. The Vikings have taken two out of the three matches against the Panthers and move to 4-1 on the season.

The Panthers drop to 1-6 on the season and will enjoy an off-day Tuesday, June 6 before meeting with the Griffith Generals for the first time this season at Griffith Wednesday, June 7.