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FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lakeland College baseball team split its final four games of its spring break trip, finishing the week with a 4-5 record at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.
The Muskies defeated Defiance (Ohio) College 3-2 on Thursday and split a pair of games against Lawrence University on Friday, defeating the Vikings 17-6 before losing 15-11. Lakeland wrapped up the trip on Saturday with a 7-4 loss to Olivet (Mich.) College.
Jared Rear (Fr.-Belleville, Wis.) had three hits and drove in the winning run as the Muskies rallied from a 2-0 deficit against Defiance to score twice in the bottom of the seventh and once in the eighth. Matt Weller (Jr.-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) picked up his second win in relief of the trip, and freshman Max Kramsky (Milwaukee, Wis.) picked up his first save with a scoreless ninth.
Lakeland won the opener of the doubleheader with Lawrence by taking advantage of 13 hits as well as 15 walks by Viking pitchers. Rear was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in and Charlie Sparrow (Jr.-Milwaukee, Wis.), Matt Krueger (Sr.-Medford, Wis.) and Brent Steudel (So.-Hortonville, Wis.) all drove in two runs as well.
The Muskies scored 11 times in the first two innings, including a seven-run second inning. Derek Loomans (Jr.-Brandon, Wis.) pitched five innings and gave up three runs to pick up the win.
Lakeland generated offense again in its second game against Lawrence, but the Vikings hammered Muskie pitchers for 17 hits to win a wild game. Weller took the loss in relief and Lawrence scored six runs in the third and five runs in the fourth to offset a couple big innings by Lakeland.
Steudel, Tim Kuchenbecker (Jr.-Brillion, Wis.) and Tim Green (Jr.-Hager City, Wis.) all had three hits and Kuchenbecker drove in three runs. The Muskies scored five runs of their own in the third and added four more in the fifth, but couldn't take more advantage of ten walks by Lawrence pitchers. Lakeland stranded 13 runners in the game.
Kuchenbecker, Sparrow and Krueger all had two hits in the finale against Olivet, but the Comets recorded 15 hits off Lakeland pitching. Luke Mandich (Fr.-Green Bay, Wis.) made the start and took the loss, allowing eight hits and five runs in four innings.
The Muskies now have a break until March 23 when they travel to face Ripon College for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. in Ripon.