Baseball ends season on low note

Andy York

The baseball team ended its season on a down note this week. The North Division champion, St. Norbert, swept the Vikings in a four-game series. The Green Knights move on to host the four-team Midwest Conference tournament while the Vikings retool for 2006.
The first game was over before the Vikings had even had a chance to bat. LU gave up 11 runs in the first inning and fell behind 17-0 before gaining six runs over the final three innings to lose 17-6. Tom Ritzer gave up 11 runs, six of them earned in one third of an inning to pick up the loss for the Vikings. Doug Coe, who was 3-3 with a run scored, led the Viking batters.
In the second game, the Vikings kept it close. With the Green Knights leading 4-1, LU scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 5-4 lead. Andrew Wong and Kevin Fitzsimmons each had two RBIs in the inning. With his two-RBI single, Fitzsimmons broke the Lawrence RBI season record of 35, ending with 36 on the year. The Green Knights would tie the game, and then take the lead for good in the top of the 11th. When the Vikings went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, they were eliminated from playoff contention.
In the third game, which now was just for pride, the Green Knights scored their two runs early, one in the first and one in the third. The Vikings struck back in the top of the fourth with one run when Wong scored on an error by the Green Knights’ pitcher. The Vikings would get a runner to third in the sixth inning, but couldn’t get another runner home as LU pitcher Chris Clouthier was saddled with a tough 2-1 loss.
The fourth game was much like the first game, with the Green Knights scoring early and often. They led 6-3 after three innings and the Vikings couldn’t keep up offensively as they went on to lose 12-5, ending their season at 12-21.
The news is good for the Vikings that this young team got another season of experience under its belt. The team will be graduating four seniors and many, if not all, of the key Vikings on this year’s roster should be returning next spring in addition to incoming recruits. The team says farewell to seniors Ben Clark, Matt Papke, Tom Ritzer, and Anthony Kouba.