Pair of complete games highlights season-opening sweep
Athletics - posted on 3/14/2010
The Lakeland baseball team opened up its 2010 campaign with a sweep of Finlandia (Mich.), 10-3 and 9-1, in a pair of seven-inning contests at the Gene Cusic Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Starting pitchers Matt Katzman and freshman Andy Chitwood highlighted the victories by tossing complete games for the Muskies (2-0).
In Game 1, Katzman (Prairie du Sac, Wis.) scattered eight hits and struck out six, allowing just one earned run.
The offense gave the junior righty some breathing room early, scoring six times in the first three innings. Junior shortstop Brad Young's two-run single in the second inning plated juniors Cal Post and Mike Ruzek, who posted a pair of RBI hits in the third.
Post (Appleton, Wis.) finished 4-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Ruzek (Manitowoc, Wis.) tallied three hits, including two doubles, and scored three times.
"Katzman struggled a little bit, but battled through and kept the Lions off-balanced enough to complete the game," Lakeland coach Chris Thousand said. "The team came out with a lot of fire and focus, which is good to see on the first day of the year."
In his Muskie debut, Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) faced two batters over the minimum in Game 2, surrendering only three hits and striking out six.
"Chitwood stole the show on the day with his great outing," Thousand said. "He located his pitches well and showed great poise."
The Muskies scored four runs in the second inning to take a commanding advantage early. Junior Jeremy Williams (Zion, Ill.), who stole three bases in the contest, drove in a pair of runs in the frame with a single.
Ruzek also stole three bases, while junior Andrew Schartner (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) finished 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
Lakeland continues its seven-day, 10-game trip Monday with a doubleheader against Millikin (Ill.) at 2 p.m. (EST).
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