RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Augustana baseball kept its season alive on Friday with an 8-6 win against Arkansas-Monticello in an elimination game. The Vikings improved their record to 41-15 on the year, while the Weevils finished their season at 36-17. Augustana got the bats going with 13 hits, a day after being held to four.
Marcus O'Neill came up big for the Vikings, going 4 for 5 with three RBI and two runs scored. O'Neill was just a homerun short of hitting for the cycle in the win. The junior outfielder's four hits tied a season high this season for a third time.
Tony Viger (2-1) picked up his second win on the year after Augustana used a variety of arms on the mound today in the win. Viger went 3.2 innings and gave up three runs, one earned, on three hits. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native also fanned two on the day.
Viger also got the bat going at the plate, going 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Troy Pilkington got his first save of 2014, coming in to relieve Chad Becker in the top of the ninth inning and working out of a jam that led to a double play ground ball to end the game for Augustana.
Arkansas-Monticello got one run across the plate in the top of the second to take the early 1-0 lead. Michael Letkewicz loaded the bases and then hit Ben Agredano to bring in the runner from third base.
Kye Winter ripped a RBI single down the left field line with two outs in the bottom of the third to score Viger from third to make it 1-1. It was the Vikings fourth hit of the game, already matching their total from the previous night.
The Weevils got another run in the top of the fourth inning on an Agredano double down the left field line that scored the runner to make it 2-1 UAM.
Augustana answered in a big way in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs to take a 5-2 lead in the game. O'Neill's bases-clearing triple highlighted the explosive inning for the Vikings, in which the bats came alive at the plate for Augustana.
UAM got one run in the top of the fifth inning after a fielding error by Alex Fink at third with the bases loaded allowed for a run to score with two outs. Fink rebounded though, getting the inning-ending ground putout to first base one batter later to keep the Vikings lead at two at 5-3.
An Alex Lang RBI single to left field with two outs in the top of the seventh cut the Augustana lead to one at 5-4.
The Vikings put a run on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the seventh on a fielding error by Arkansas-Monticello that allowed for Jack Goihl to score from third base, making it 6-4 in favor of Augustana.
The Weevils tied the game back up in the top of the eighth inning at 6-6 by scoring two runs on two hits, highlighted by D'Marco Poindexter's RBI single up the middle of the infield.
Goihl delivered the play of the game in the bottom half of the eighth with a two-RBI single down the left field line that scored Viger and O'Neill to give the Vikings a 8-6 lead.
Pilkington would hold the Augustana lead from there, getting UAM to ground into a 5-3 double play to end the game in the bottom of the ninth and give the Vikings the 8-6 win.
Augustana will play Emporia State if they win against Arkansas Tech on Friday afternoon. If Arkansas Tech wins, then the Vikings will play the loser of the Southern Arkansas/Minnesota State matchup in an elimination game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Courtesy: Augustana Tim Evans