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The Lakeland College baseball team dropped its home-opener, losing both games of a double-header against Concordia University Chicago.
The Muskies (5-9, 0-4 NAC) were in both games, but just couldn't close the door, allowing 13 runs after the seventh inning in both games combined.
In game one the Muskies sent sophomore right-hander Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) to the mound and while he didn't have his best stuff, he kept Lakeland in the game. Chitwood pitched six innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on 10 hits while walking three and striking out two. Andrew "Woody" Schartner (Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) finished the game, going three innings, allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one.
At the plate, freshman shortstop Ryan Boettcher (Bonduel, Wis.) had a breakout game, going 2-3 with three RBI's. Boettcher's two RBI single in the bottom of the fourth would cap a four run rally for the Muskies and give them a 4-3 lead.
The lead would be short-lived though as the Cougars scored one run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, building a 6-4 lead. Boettcher would come through again in the eight with a sacrifice fly to center, cutting the Cougar lead to one. However, Concordia Chicago would push across another run in the ninth and the Muskies couldn't rally, falling 7-5 in game one.
Game two was a pitcher's duel for eight innings, as the Muskies sent freshman right-handers Andrew Mueller to the hill. The Horicon, Wis., native pitched brilliantly in his first NAC start, throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Senior David Novak (Algoma, Wis.) pitched a stellar eighth inning, but defensive miscues costs the Muskies in the ninth. Novak pitched 1.2 innings, allowing nine runs, zero earned, on four hits with three walks and one strikeout.
The turning point in the game was a bases loaded fielder's choice in which Lakeland second baseman Jess Nickel's (Waupun, Wis.) throw pulled freshman catcher Breton Steudel (Hortonville, Wis.) off the bag, scoring a run and causing the game to get out of hand. The Muskies would fall in game two, 10-0.
To see what Boettcher and Chitwood had to say about their performances in game one, click here.
To see what Mueller had to say about his start, click here.
The Muskies return to action on Saturday, April 9, as they host Benedictine University. First pitch is scheduled for noon.