Vikings split with HLC

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Missouri Valley College baseball team split a non-conference doubleheader against Hannibal-LaGrange at Osage Field on Tuesday, rolling to a 12-3 victory in the opener and dropping a 9-8, eight-inning decision in the nightcap.

The Vikings broke open a 1-1 contest in the early game with an eight-run explosion in the bottom of the third inning. Senior Andrew Skinner's double plated the first two runs and junior Cody Price, freshman Austin Hulburt and junior Bryce Burdette stroked two-run singles.

Skinner added a three-run homer in the fifth for Valley, which used four pitchers -- the last two, freshmen Phillip Ximinies and Jacob Hofer, tossing scoreless frames.

After building an 8-1 lead in the late game, the Vikings surrendered nine unanswered runs.

Senior Jordan Rice got Valley on the board with a three-run shot in the first inning and sophomore Lucas Jacobi singled and scored the team's second run in the second.

Jacobi hit a sacrifice fly in the third Rice was on the front end of a double-steal to score in the fourth.

The Trojans began their comeback with a five-run fifth, the big blow being sophomore Seth Brown's grand slam. They tied the game in the seventh when sophomore Eduardo Ibarra delivered an RBI single and scored on an error.

Junior Jeremy Shull and Rice singled in the bottom of the seventh, but both runners were stranded. Hannibal-LaGrange (2-29) got the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the eighth and senior Robert Ortega retired the side in order in the bottom half of the frame for the save.

Skinner knocked in seven runs on three hits during the day for the Vikings (15-15), who play their first Heart of America Conference East Division four-game series Saturday and Sunday at Graceland.

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