Ruzek sets record, Muskies swept by Eagles

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The Lakeland College baseball team lost their final two games of the 2012 season to Northern Athletics Conference foe Edgewood College on Saturday.

The Muskies (17-21, 7-15 NAC) continued to struggle on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, losing game one, 3-0, and game two, 8-3.

Lakeland sent senior Mike Ruzek to the hill in game one, just five strikeouts shy of the second-best career total. The Manitowoc, Wis., native pitched eight innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He also passed former Lakeland head coach Chris Thousand for second all-time in strikeouts, tallying seven Ks, bringing his career total to 177.

Ruzek's strong start was wasted though, as the Muskies totaled just five hits, all coming in separate innings. Lakeland's best chance to score came in the fourth inning as Nate Soley (River Falls, Wis.) walked and advanced to third on an Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.) double. Soley was later thrown out attempting to score on a ground ball to third base, ending the Muskies threat.

The Eagles got one run in the second, stealing home, and scored twice more in the third on three hits and one error.

Chitwood led the Lakeland offense going 2-for-4, while Ruzek, Jess Nickel and Justin Reminger each had one hit.

In game two, senior Garrett Morris (Janesville, Wis.) got the call, as he pitched six innings, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Sophomore Derek Loomans (Brandon, Wis.) was the first out of the bullpen and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three batters.

The Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings, tallying four hits, aided by one Lakeland error.

The Muskies got one run in the third as Ruzek doubled to right center and came around to score on a Matt Krueger (Medford, Wis.) single. Edgewood added three more runs on three hits in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead.
Jess Nickel (Waupun, Wis.) scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to give Lakeland its second run. The Muskies threatened in the eighth, scoring one run on three hits and one Edgewood error. That's all the offense Lakeland could muster, falling 8-3.

Ruzek led the offense in game two, going 2-for-4, scoring two runs. Six other Muskies tallied a hit and Krueger had the team's lone RBI.

The Muskies finish the season tenth in the NAC and miss the tournament for a sixth consecutive season.