The Lakeland College baseball team saw its four-game win streak snapped on Tuesday night as the Muskies (9-4) split with the visiting Wolves of Cardinal Stritch University.
The Muskies got off to a strong start, taking game one 6-2, behind senior Mike Ruzek, however, the bats fell silent in game two, a 5-2 loss.
In game one, the Manitowoc, Wis., native pitched a complete game, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits. He struck out eight while walking none.
The Wolves got on the board first, scoring one run on two hits and an error in the first inning. Lakeland had an answer as Ruzek doubled home Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) and later scored on a Garrett Morris (Marshfield, Wis.) RBI single. Nate Soley (River Falls, Wis.) drove in another run in the second, extending the lead to 3-1.
Lakeland added some insurance in the third, scoring two runs on two hits and two Stritch errors to take a 5-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
Morris finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs; while five other Muskies collected one hit each. Chitwood scored two runs and Ruzek finished with one RBI and one run scored.
Sophomore catcher Brent Steudel (Hortonville, Wis.) was big behind the plate, throwing out two would be base stealers to end potential rallies.
Overly aggressive base running and fielding miscues costs the Muskies in game two. Morris pitched six solid innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits. He struck out six against just two walks. Sophomore right-hander Matt Weller (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) pitched a one-hit seventh to keep the Muskies in the game.
Junior first baseman Matt Krueger (Medford, Wis.) got the Muskies on the board in the first, with an RBI single to score Chitwood. It was a breakout game for Krueger who finished 4-for-4, one of the few bright spots in game two.
Lakeland's lead would be short lived as the Wolves scored four runs on three hits and one error in the third to take a 4-1 lead. Krueger would add his second RBI of the game, scoring Ruzek in the third to cut the lead to 4-2.
Lakeland had a runner on in every inning; they just couldn't put it all together. The Muskies totaled 10 hits, with seven coming from Krueger and Ruzek, who finished 3-for-4 with one run scored.
Lakeland looks to bounce back on Saturday, March 31, as the Muskies host Maranatha Baptist Bible College in their Northern Athletics Conference opener. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon.
See what Ruzek and Krueger have to say about their performances here.