Muskies swept in back-to-back heartbreakers
Athletics - posted on 3/17/2009
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lakeland baseball team made a thrilling comeback to take a late lead in each of its two games against Scranton, but was unable to close each game out, dropping each contest by one run at the Gene Cusic Classic on Tuesday.
Lakeland lost the first game, 7-6, and dropped Game 2 by a 9-8 margin. Each game was scheduled for seven innings.
"The kids battled hard today," Lakeland coach Chris Thousand said. "They were both heartbreakers in the end. We have a quick turnaround for tomorrow, though, so we have to be ready to go."
In Game 2, the Muskies (1-4) forged a five-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking an 8-7 lead into the top of the seventh. However, sophomore pitcher Jeremy Williams, entering his fourth inning of worked, balked home the game-tying run, sending the game into extra innings.
After the Royals (6-3) tallied a run in the top of the 11th, Lakeland got a runner into scoring position with one out in the bottom half, but was unable to push the tying score across.
Senior pitcher Mike Phillips, who relieved Williams in the top of the ninth, took the loss for Lakeland. Scranton's Kyle Fox pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win.
Sophomore first baseman Cal Post paced the Muskies with three hits and two runs scored. Sophomore right fielder Andrew Schartner was 2-for-4 at the plate, including a two-out, two-run single in the sixth, which tied the game.
Game 1 was an eerily similar result for the Muskies.
Trailing 5-4 in the top of the seventh, junior centerfielder Jake Heinemeyer, who led off the inning with a triple, scored on a sacrifice fly by Schartner. Lakeland took the lead when Post tripled off the wall in left center, bringing in junior third baseman Doug Novak.
In the bottom half, sophomore pitcher Bill Miller got into trouble early and surrendered a walk-off single with the bases loaded by Scranton's Matt Rayha.
Miller took the loss, while Mike Pyles of the Royals took the win in relief.
Sophomore catcher David Novak led the Lakeland offense with two hits and a pair of RBIs.
Sophomore Matt Katzman (Game 1) and freshman Matt Buhrow (Game 2) were the starters for the Muskies.
Lakeland returns to action tomorrow for another doubleheader. The Muskies face Babson at 10 a.m., followed by a 2 p.m. showdown with Bethel. The Lakeland JV team will play Bethel's JV team at 5 p.m.
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