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The Lakeland College baseball team suffered two, one-run losses today, getting swept by the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals.
The Muskies (5-3) committed their first errors of the season, with six miscues in game one, losing 7-6 in 13 innings. In game two, Lakeland lost 2-1 as the Muskies committed two more errors.
Senior Mike Ruzek (Manitowoc, Wis.) got the ball in game one and pitched seven strong inning. The 6-foot-3 right-hander allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits, walking three and striking out four. Ruzek kept the team in the game, throwing 130 pitches in the process.
The bullpen pitched well again, with Matt Weller leading the way. The Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., native didn't allow a hit in three shutout innings, striking out one. Junior David Cherney (Green Bay, Wis.) took the loss, as he pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit.
Lakeland trailed for much of the game, before breaking out in the top of the sixth inning, tying the game at six.
Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) led the way with a leadoff single and Ruzek made it back-to-back hits with a single to left field. After Garrett Morris (Janesville, Wis.) sacrificed the runners over, Matt Krueger (Medford, Wis.) and Ryan Boettcher (Bonduel, Wis.) followed with back-to-back RBI singles to cut the lead to 6-4. Two passed balls and a Jess Nickel (Waupun, Wis.)RBI groundout tied the game. That would be all the offense the Muskies could muster, as the game went 13 innings, ending on a walk-off, bases loaded hit that skipped under Morris' glove to end the game.
Lakeland outhit their opponent yet again, totaling 10 hits, led by Ruzek who finished 2-for-4 with two RBI's and one run scored. Chitwood, Krueger, and Charlie Sparrow (Milwaukee, Wis.) each tallied two hits each. The six Muskie errors were just too much to overcome, allowing the Cardinals second chances that they capitalized on.
In game two, Lakeland sent Morris to the hill. The 6-foor-1 senior right-hander pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits, walking three against two strikeouts. Morris was stellar for six innings, however, two errors in the seventh cost the Muskies the game.
Lakeland and Plattsburgh were locked in a pitcher's duel, with neither team able to muster any offense until the sixth inning, when the Muskies finally pushed through.
Boettcher led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third when the left fielder had trouble fielding the ball. Sophomore Andrew Tague (Racine, Wis.) looked to be the hero, as he drove the next pitch up the middle to score Boettcher, giving the Muskies the 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the lead would be short lived as the wheels came off in the seventh. A single and failed pickoff attempt put a runner at second with nobody out. The Cardinals then got an RBI triple, on a ball the Sparrow narrowly missed in center field. A sacrifice fly is all the Cardinals needed to seal the 2-1 victory.
Lakeland tallied seven hits, but just couldn't get it done as errors once again cost Lakeland the game. Nickel led all Muskies with two hits, while Tague finished 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Lakeland looks to end its spring trip on a high note as the Muskies face Lawrence University at noon tomorrow. Lakeland is scheduled to play on field five at the Player Development Complex.