WILMINGTON — The first five batters St. Elizabeth sent to the plate on scored, and the Vikings would need all of those runs and more to defeat Hodgson, 13-9, on April 20 at Frawley Stadium. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Vikings.
Jaden Dickerson got St. Elizabeth started with a walk, the first of four times he would reach base. Nate Beringer followed with a single, and the runners then stole a base. Dickerson scored on a double by Matthew Trout, but Beringer had to wait at second to see if the ball would be caught, and he advanced one base. He did come home on a wild pitch.
Nathan Schurga tripled to the right field wall to make it 3-0, and Andrew Spychalski walked and stole second. A ground ball by Robert Falcone scored Schurga, and Spychalski moved to third. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Eric O’Neill.
Schurga started for the Vikings, and he retired the first six batters he faced on three strikeouts and three ground balls back to him. But the Silver Eagles got the hitting sticks going in the third. Mahki Ingram walked with one out and took second on a single. Schurga got the second out on a strikeout, but an error allowed Nick Akers to get on base and Ingram to score.
Hodgson kept hitting in the fourth. Robert Burris opened the inning with a booming triple to the right field wall, and Colby Miller was hit by a pitch and stole second. Trout made a diving catch for the first out, and a strikeout gave the Vikings a path to a scoreless inning. But another error resulted in two runs scoring, and Sebastian Pagan drove in the third run of the inning to cut the St. Elizabeth lead to 5-4.
Silver Eagles starter Akers settled down after the first five batters, retiring nine of the next 10 batters. But the Vikings struck in a big way in their half of the fourth.
O’Neill walked to start the inning, and he came around to score on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Shawn Cintron. Luke Trout walked, followed by an RBI single for Dickerson. Two more runs scored on a single and sacrifice fly, and a pair of walks scored another. After a pitching change, St. Elizabeth picked up two more runs on one more walk, followed by a fielder’s choice. All told, they scored seven in the frame, sending 12 batters to the plate.
Those runs came in handy as the Silver Eagles chased Schurga after a single and two doubles scored two runs in the fifth. Burris, who knocked in those two runs, would come in on a wild pitch, and Pagan singled in another. The final run scored on a sacrifice fly by Nelvin Rivera.
Dickerson walked to open the fifth for the Vikings, whose lead had shrunk to 12-9. He stole second and would score on a wild pitch.
Hodgson got its leadoff hitter on in the sixth, but Dickerson, who relieved Schurga in the fifth, struck out the next two batters, and Luke Trout caught a line drive in right to finish the inning. Matt Trout came on to pitch the seventh. He retired the first two batters on strikeouts, but the Silver Eagles’ next two went for a double and a walk. Dickerson, playing third base, wrapped up the evening by going to his left to field a slow grounder and throwing out Akers by a step.
Dickerson was on base four times and scored three runs for the Vikings. Beringer, Schurga and Spychalski each scored two runs. The three pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts. St. Elizabeth improved to 2-7 and plays Newark at Canby Park on Thursday at 4 p.m.
For Hodgson, Burris had a double and triple, two RBI and scored two runs. Miller and Ingram also scored twice each. The Silver Eagles (3-3) will try to end a three-game skid on Thursday as they open up a four-game homestand against Appoquinimink at 4 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.