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The Lakeland College baseball team got a hard fought sweep of Northern Athletics Conference foe, Wisconsin Lutheran College on Saturday afternoon.
The Muskies (15-10, 5-5 NAC) got off to a slow start, but eventually the bats came to life, winning game one, 5-4, and game two, 9-2.
Sophomore right-hander Derek Loomans (Brandon, Wis.) got the call in game one and he didn't disappoint, tossing seven strong innings, allowing four runs on six hits, while striking out eight. Sophomore reliever Matt Weller (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) got the victory, pitching two shutout innings, allowing just two hits.
In the early going, it was a pitcher's duel with neither team threatening until the fifth inning, when the Warriors scored two runs on two hits, including a solo home run.
Lakeland got one run back in the sixth, as Nate Soley (River Falls, Wis.) was hit by a pitch and came around to score on an error by the shortstop. Wisconsin Lutheran added two more in the seventh, taking a 4-1 lead. The Muskies didn't quit as Soley delivered a two-run double to left center, scoring Brent Steudel (Hortonville, Wis.) and Ryan Boettcher (Bonduel, Wis.).
Trailing 4-3 entering the ninth, the Muskies tallied two runs on three hits, with Mike Ruzek (Manitowoc, Wis.) singling home Soley to tie the game and Garrett Morris (Janesville, Wis.) getting the walk off sacrifice fly to score Justin Reminger (Leopolis, Wis.), who had pinch run for Jess Nickel (Waupun, Wis.) who delivered a pinch-hit single earlier in the inning.
While Morris was the hero, Soley continued his offensive onslaught, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
In game two, Morris took the ball and pitched seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits and four strikeouts. Ryan Krzyzkowski (Franklin, Wis.) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit.
The Warriors got on the board first, scoring in the top of the first; however, Ruzek delivered his third home run of the season, tying the game.
Both teams were quite until the fourth when the Muskies erupted for six runs on four hits, aided by two Warrior errors. Andrew Tague (Racine, Wis.) got the scoring started with a two-run home run to left field, the first of his career. An error by the shortstop scored two more before Ruzek and Matt Krueger (Medford, Wis.) delivered back-to-back RBI hits.
Ruzek added RBIs in the sixth and eighth, while the Warriors scored their second run in the seventh inning on an RBI ground out.
Ruzek had a monster second game, finishing 3-for-4 with four RBIs and one run scored. Krueger finished 2-for-4, while Tague went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored.
Lakeland returns to action tomorrow, April 15, as the Muskies travel to Mequon, Wis., to face rival Concordia University Wisconsin in a NAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
To hear what Tague, Soley, and Morris thought of their performances, click here.
To hear what Lakeland head coach Michael Bachar thought about the wins, click here.