The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

April 20, 2014

Vikings continue to learn

(Continued)

The Vikings, however, managed only one run in each game with Austin West driving in leadoff man Brady Watkins in the first inning of the opener, and Watkins scoring in the third inning of Game 2 when Tristan Wolfe reached on a bunt and throwing error by Normal Community pitcher Hunter Bailey (2-1).

Desmond has faith in regular starting pitchers Mike Vascura (0-2) and Dylan Marble, but a lack of offensive consistency has led to setbacks.

“All three phases of the game, we haven’t had that click for us in the same game,” Desmond said. “We have had decent starting pitching, but we make the errors and we don’t hit. We’ve got to have it to where we have a good outing from our starter and make routine plays behind him, and then hit and score some runs. We are not hitting and we are not scoring runs.

“You can just feel the deflation in our dugout when they (the opposing team) get up early because that’s the thing; it’s got to be there or now we’ve got to score, now we’ve got to hit,” Desmond added. “It hasn’t really happened for us. We had one game where we hit really well, and that’s really kind of been it. Other than that, it has been key performances from individual guys. It has not been a team or group effort offensively.”

The Vikings were outhit 26-6 on Saturday, but saw improvement at the plate as compared to previous outings.

“At least we are starting to make teams make defensive plays against us instead of just striking out,” Desmond said. “Striking out, we don’t give ourselves a chance. We did put the ball in play better today, which is a good sign. That’s something we can build on. If there is anything we can hang our hat on today offensively, because we didn’t have a lot of hits, we didn’t have many runs — if there is anything we can hang our hat on today, it’s we made the defense make plays to get us out.”

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