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Vikings Win One of Three in Morris Tourney

By Steve Babb, 04/25/21, 3:30PM CDT


The Pelican Rapids baseball team went 1-2 in the three games they played in the Morris Tournament.  The Vikings lost to Morris Area, 9-2, beat Hancock, 9-4, and lost to Ashby, 8-0.

Pelican Rapids jumped out to a 2 run lead in the top of the first against Morris but that was all their scoring as the Tigers cruised to a 9-2 win.  McHale Korf started the game with a walk and stole 2nd.  He scored on Carson McNeal’s line double to left, Pelican‘s only hit of the game.  McNeal advanced to 3rd on a passed ball and scored on Brock Sjolie’s ground out.  Morris came back in the bottom of the inning on a walk, 2 infield errors and a double, resulting in 3 unearned runs off starting pitcher Weston Funk.  Funk gave up single runs in the 3rd and 4th and was relieved by McNeal in the 5th.  Morris scored one more run on a bases loaded walk before McNeal struck out the next hitter to limit the damage.  The Tigers added 3 more in the 6th to end the scoring at 9-2.

The Vikings threatened in the 2nd with Justin Verdorn walking and Korf reaching on an error to put runners on the corners with 2 outs. The threat ended when Korf was called out on an attempted steal of second base on a close play.  Pelican did not advance a runner to second the rest of the game.  Funk deserved a better fate as only 2 of the runs scored on him were earned.  8 walks by the Pelican pitchers and 4 errors contributed heavily to the loss.  However, when you only get one hit and have one runner in scoring position after the 1st inning, you probably aren’t going to win.

Behind Luke Sjolie’s complete game performance on the mound, the Vikings evened their season record at 2-2 with a 9-4 win over Hancock.  The freshman hurler didn’t walk a batter and struck out 6.  The visiting Owls scored 2 unearned runs in the first on an error and 3 singles.  Pelican came back with one of their own in the bottom of the inning on a walk to McHale Korf, a single by Luke Sjolie and a run scoring single by Carson McNeal, his 1st of 3 hits for the game.  The Vikings took the lead with 4 runs in the third.  Alex Lynnes and Korf opened the inning with singles and advanced to 2nd and 3rd on a ground out.  McNeal once more came through, scoring both on a single up the middle.  Funk then reached on an error with McNeal advancing to 3rd.  After Funk stole 2nd, Brock Sjolie’s sacrifice fly scored McNeal.  Peyton Blakeway’s line single to center scored Funk to give the Vikings a 5-2 lead.  Pelican scored their final 4 runs in the 4th.  Verdon led off with a walk.  Lynnes was hit by a pitch.  Korf walked and McNeal was hit by another pitch, scoring Verdorn.  Brock Sjolie walked one out later, scoring Lynnes.  Blakeway followed with a single scoring Korf and McNeal.  Hancock’s scored 2 unearned runs in the 6th on a double and 2 infield errors, resulting in what would be the final score of 9-4.   McNeal and Blakeway led the offensive attack with 4 and 3 RBI’s respectively.

The Vikings fell behind early and couldn’t come back in the final game of the day against a very good Ashby team.  Ashby scored 3 in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd to account for all the scoring.  Pelican’s only threat came in the 2nd inning when Cody Nord and McHale Korf both singled but a ground out ended the threat.  The Vikings did not have a runner reach 2nd base the rest of the game.  Austin Stoll started the game on the mound and was relieved by Logan Fahje in the 2nd.  Isaac Olson, in his first appearance on the mound this season, pitched the final 3 innings. Viking pitchers only gave up 5 hits but issued 10 walks.  Ashby’s aggressive base running and 3 more Pelican errors were contributing factors in the loss.  Carter Spangler was the complete game winner for Ashby, striking out 13 and walking no one.  Positives of the game were the continued fine hitting by McNeal and Korf, and Olson doing an excellent job of changing speeds and not allowing a run.  Also, coach Andy Johnson was able to get every bench player into the contest.

The Vikings have their first home games of the season this Thursday, April 29 in a double header starting at 4:00pm.