LU Baseball faces tough opponent Ripon

Joy Manweiler

After posting a 3-5 record on their spring break trip to sunny Arizona, the Lawrence University baseball team opened its conference play with four losses to the Red Hawks of Ripon College.
Fresh off a game against former Ripon head coach Gordie Gillespie, recognized as the winningest coach in collegiate baseball history, Ripon (12-3, 4-0 MWC) played host to Lawrence Thursday for a doubleheader, in which the Vikings lost the first game 8-0 and the second 8-3.
Though they received two hits from T.J. Frett and one each from Tommy Schmidt and Wes Otte, the Vikes were unable to score any runs.
The second game looked more hopeful for the Vikings.
At the top of the third, Lawrence scored its first run of the day when Robert Rashid crossed home plate.
Andy Bremberger scored on a Hawk Haiduke single and Ray Tucker scored off an error giving Lawrence the lead 3-1.
Unfortunately, the game did not end there, and the Red Hawks came back to score seven more, five of those in the eighth inning. Freshman Andy Wilt took the loss for the Vikings.
Hoping for better luck at their home opener Saturday, the Vikes were again disappointed, as they dropped both of their games with scores of 19-1 and 17-8.
Ripon opened the first game swinging, scoring seven runs in the first five innings. Lawrence did not respond until the fourth inning, when Ben Webster recorded the only run for the home team.
The Red Hawks scored four runs in the seventh and then pounded out nine more runs in the eighth to prove their point. Frank Forseth got the loss.
The second game was not much prettier, but Lawrence’s Wes Otte and Ben Konetzke both hit their first career homers, with Konetzke going 3-for-4 for the Vikings. Sophomore Luke Kostreva gave up 14 hits and took the loss for Lawrence.
Ripon swept the Midwest Conference Performer of the Week awards, with freshman Nick Beaman, who hit four homers in the series, taking Performer of the Week and sophomore Matt Dwyer snagging the pitching award.
The Vikes will travel to face UW-Stout (9-10, 3-5 WIAC) and Beloit (12-6, 2-2 MWC) next week.