The Lakeland College baseball team got off to a strong start, winning both games of their double-header against Nichols College in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday afternoon.
The Muskies (2-0) won game one, 13-2, and game two, 5-2.
The Muskies picked up where they left off last season, with strong pitching, solid defense, and more than enough offense.
In game one, senior right-hander Mike Ruzek (Manitowoc, Wis.) pitched a gem, throwing six shutout innings of one hit ball, striking out seven against just one walk. Ruzek also delivered at the plate, going 1-for-3, scoring two runs.
Lakeland scored runs in every inning they batted except the sixth. Freshman centerfielder and leadoff hitter, Nate Soley (River Falls, Wis.), set the table, going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Junior first baseman Matt Krueger (Medford, Wis.) got the scoring started with a two RBI single in the first inning, scoring Soley and Andy Chitwood (Muscoda, Wis.), and would later score on Ryan Boettcher's (Bonduel, Wis.) RBI single. The Muskies would score five in the first, more than enough for Ruzek.
First-year starting catcher Brent Steudel (Hortonville, Wis.) led the Muskies at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four RBI's.
In game two, senior right-hander Garret Morris (Janesville, Wis.) had a solid pitching performance for the Muskies, going all seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out six. Soley continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-3 with a walk and one RBI. Ruzek and Krueger each collected one hit, one RBI and each scored a run in the victory.
The game was in the balance until the fifth inning, when the Muskies scored three runs. Soley led off the inning with a double to right field and would score on a Krueger single. Sophomore Tim Kuchenbecker collected his third RBI on the day, with a single to right field scoring Ruzek.
Morris ended the Thunder Bison's rally with an acrobatic throw on a bunt up the third base line for the third and final out.
The two victories are also the first for first-year head coach Michael Bachar.
Lakeland returns to action tomorrow afternoon, as the Muskies face the University of Minnesota-Morris in a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon on field three at the Player Development Complex.
To see what Krueger and Kuchenbecker have to say about their performances, click here.
To see what Ruzek has to say after his pitching gem, click here.
To see what Soley and Morris have to say about the game two victory, click here.
To see Bachar's thoughts on his first wins as a head coach, click here.