Lakeland salvages split in NAC opener
Athletics - posted on 4/2/2010
SHEBOYGAN - The Lakeland baseball team defeated Aurora 8-5 in Game 2 of the Northern Athletics Conference opening doubleheader for both teams on Friday night at Wildwood Park.
The Spartans edged the Muskies (9-5 overall, 1-1 NAC) 10-9 in 10 innings in the first game.
In Game 2, sophomore relief pitcher Erik Kozey (Medford, Wis.) entered the game with one out in the sixth inning and pitched Lakeland out of a bases-loaded jam as the team clung to a 6-5 advantage.
Junior Andrew Schartner (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) completed the bullpen's scoreless effort with a two-inning save, stranding four Spartan runners on base. Junior starting pitcher Matt Katzman (Prairie du Sac, Wis.) recorded his second win of the season.
"Katzman got us momentum right away with his work against a very good Aurora lineup," Lakeland coach Chris Thousand said. "Kozey got us out of a jam and (Schartner) closed the door."
The Lakeland offense struck early with runs in the first three innings, including a four-run third, to take a 6-0 lead. The Muskies added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth thanks to a run-scoring single by junior shortstop Brad Young (West Bend, Wis.) and a wild pitch.
"I was very happy with our hitting in the eighth," Thousand said. "That definitely gave us some breathing room. I felt like we played not to lose at times, so we're trying to build on that."
Young finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while junior second baseman Ryan Polizzi (Woodstock, Ill.) contributed with two hits and a run batted in.
"Offensively, we had a great plan of attack," Thousand said. "We weren't making productive outs in the first game, but we made the necessary adjustments."
Aurora (9-6, 1-1) scored seven unanswered runs to defeat the Muskies in 10 innings in the first game. With the bases loaded in the top of the 10th, Aurora executed a suicide squeeze with the bases loaded to give reliever Lee Chepil (Ladysmith, Wis.) his first loss of the season.
Lakeland took a commanding 9-3 advantage after a pair of big innings early in the contest.
Junior first baseman Cal Post's homer to deep left highlighted a four-run fifth inning for the Muskies. Junior Doug Novak (Algoma, Wis.) and sophomore Stephen Kalina (Lake Villa, Ill.) also plated runs in the frame.
In the third, Lakeland hitters posted four doubles after starting the inning with consecutive outs.
Novak, Young and Schartner posted three hits apiece in the game. Post (Appleton, Wis.) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Starting pitcher Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) tossed seven strong innings before tiring in the eighth, when Aurora tied the game on a three-run home run by third baseman Tim Mackey.
Lakeland returns to action Monday for a 12 p.m. doubleheader at Concordia Chicago.
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