Baseball shuts down Wheeling

Fremd+prepares+to+bat+against+Wheeling.+%28Logue+photo+by+Tim+Moran%29

Fremd prepares to bat against Wheeling. (Logue photo by Tim Moran)

Tim Moran, Staff Writer

On a perfect spring day, the imperfect Vikings needed a win to break the .500 mark for the season.  Senior Jared Swenson pitched a masterful game, allowing no runs over six innings to protect the little run support he received. Fremd came away with a 3-0 win over Wheeling, upping their record to 4-3 on the year on April 15.

Through the first two innings, it looked like a sure pitcher’s duel, as both teams were held scoreless. The Vikings broke through in the third with one run, but clung to that lead for a couple innings. In the top of the fifth, Wheeling singled with a man on second, and it looked like they might tie the game up, but a great throw from the Vikings’ center fielder nailed the runner at the plate, preserving the Fremd lead.

Swenson comments on the support of his defense behind him.  

“A lot of it is trying to keep the defense behind me active, letting them put it in play, and trust my teammates to make a play,” Swenson said.

In the ensuing half inning, Fremd strung some hits together to tack on two runs, which were enough to give their pitchers some room.

Vikings head coach, Chris Piggott, describes the team’s hitting and their success in converting opportunities into runs.

“We scored with two outs. When we had our chances to score we took advantage of them, which we haven’t been doing as of late,” Piggott said.

After finishing his six-inning shutout, Swenson handed the ball over to senior Justin Castillo, who held his own on the rubber, easily closing out the game for the Vikings in the 7th, holding the lead for a 3-0 win.

Piggott contributes the success of Swenson and Castillo to their execution of the game plan.

“We really talked about pounding the zone and getting ahead of the hitters, and not trying to be too fine early in the count,” Piggott said.

By giving up just a few hits and earning the win, it’s obvious Swenson was the key to the Vikings’ victory. However, he feels he could still improve his pitching in the future.

“I think today I was struggling a little bit with command on the fastball, I just have to make the adjustment and come out next game and pound the zone,” Swenson said.

Coming out of the game above .500, they have since improved to 5-3, and are in a good spot moving forward with many games left in the season.

Piggott knows the team has high expectations for success in the regular season and postseason.

“We would ultimately like to win our division in conference and make it to the conference championship goal,” Piggott said. “We hope that we are playing our best baseball by the time the state tournament comes around, so that we can make a deep run.”  

Time will tell if the Vikes can keep up the stellar pitching and timely hitting. If they do, Fremd has a great chance to achieve their goals and make it an exciting summer for Viking baseball. Their next game is April 20, when Fremd faces Hoffman Estates at home.