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Frustrations continued for the Lakeland College baseball team in its Northern Athletics Conference doubleheader with Aurora University, as the Muskies fell in both games, 3-1 and 8-6, to drop to 5-8 in the NAC on Saturday, April 19, at home.
Freshman Alex Ackerman suffered the loss on the mound in game one, giving up seven hits with four strikeouts, while sophomore Lee Chepil was tagged with the loss in the second game after coming in for an injured senior Kris Saiberlich in the third inning. Chepil gave up five hits and six runs before senior Nate Brusewitz came in to finish up the final four innings of the game, forfeiting three hits, five walks and fanning three.
The Muskies' main problems centered on their hitting, as the home squad left a total of 17 stranded on base for the day with the bases loaded on a few occasions.
"We didn't get any clutch hits today and stranded 10 guys on base in the second game," said Lakeland head coach Chris Thousand. "But, we only had two errors today and our pitching was decent so we just really need to focus on getting those key hits."
Sophomores Doug Novak and Jacob Heinemeyer led the Muskies at the plate in the second game with 3-5 and 3-4 efforts, respectively, while junior Adam Brown was the batting leader in game one, going 2-4 with a double.
Although the squad is now on a six-game losing streak, Thousand feels his team has taken some steps in the right direction the past few weeks.
"I think that because we're so young some of the guys are still struggling with the length of the season, but mentally we're staying pretty tough," Thousand said. "Our pitching and defense are coming around along with general knowledge of the college game."
The Muskies will look to break out of their offensive slump with another NAC doubleheader at Concordia University Chicago on Sunday.
"They were nationally-ranked at the beginning of the season," Thousand said. "They're pretty much in the middle of the pack in conference now, but they can swing the bats pretty good so we need to bring good pitching tomorrow. If we get good pitching we can play with most teams, but sometimes that's a question mark with us."
Game start time is set for 1 p.m. in River Forest, Ill.
After the doubleheader is complete, Lakeland will also finish up the second game of its NAC doubleheader with Dominican University from April 14, which was suspended in the 13th inning on account of darkness with the score tied at five runs apiece.