Muskies struggle against Marian in second day of NAC play

Sean Gilligan, Staff Reporter

After a strong start to the Northern Athletics Conference season against Maranatha the Muskies were brought back down to earth by Marian on Sunday. The Muskies dropped both games, losing 7-1 and 11-7, dropping their record on the season to 11-6 and 2-2 in conference.

Mike Ruzek (2-1, 2.45 ERA) started the first game and was strong through the first four innings, allowing only two hits. But in the fifth inning he began to struggle, allowing four runs on five hits.

Matt Weller finished up the game, giving up three more runs on three hits and three walks.

The pitchers found no support from the Muskie offense who were only able to muster one run on a play in which Ryan Boettcher doubled home Tim Kuchenbecker in the fifth inning.

The Muskies were kept off-balance all day by Marian right-hander Jesse Blum, who allowed only three hits on the day.

The Muskie offense would improve greatly in the second game, but would not prove to be enough to get the job done.

Going into the fifth inning the Muskies trailed 5-1. Then, the offense finally woke up and scored five runs on four hits, giving the Muskies a 6-5 lead.

Unfortunately, the relief pitching wouldn’t hold up for the Muskies, and Trenton Schwalbach would pick up the loss giving up six runs on six hits in only 1 1/3 innings, until David Cherney came in to pitch the last 2 2/3 to finish out the game.

Garrett Morris started the game but struggled, giving up five runs on five hits in five innings.

Andrew Tague and Jess Nickel had the best offensive performances, Tague going 3-4 with two RBIs and Nickel picking up two hits and three RBIs.

The Muskies look to get back on track this Saturday, April 7th, when they take on

Aurora University at home. The games are scheduled to start at noon.

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