Senior Adam McDonald (above) and junior Kyle Deux (below) prepare for their game. Photos by Victor Nguyen.
After a tough stretch of conference games, the Lawrence University baseball team took a break from Midwest Conference opponents and faced off against Lakeland University (11-20). The home game for the Vikings was originally scheduled to be a double-header on Thursday, April 27, but was changed to one game on Friday, April 29.
After a scoreless first inning, Lawrence scored three runs in the second to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. With freshman Ethan Jones already on base, freshman Patrick McDonnell homered to center. Later in the inning, Lawrence tacked on another run on an RBI-double to center by sophomore Nolan Spencer that allowed freshman Reno Zemrak to score. The Vikings added to their lead in the third inning on an RBI-single by Jones that sent junior Zach Rabideau home. Then, in the fourth, McDonnell blasted his second home run of the game, this time to left field, extending Lawrence’s lead to 5-0. Later in the inning, junior Travis Weber singled to left allowing Spencer to reach home plate to make the score 6-0 in the Vikings favor. In the fifth inning, junior Cole Erickson was caught stealing second; however, Jones was able to score on the throw to give Lawrence a 7-0 lead. In the sixth inning Lakeland came roaring back scoring six runs to cut the Vikings lead down to just one at 7-6. However, in the bottom of the inning, Lawrence added another run on an RBI lineout to left by junior Matthew Holliday that allowed McDonnell to score. In the seventh, Zemark hit a double that sent Erickson and Jones home, extending the Viking lead to 10-6. Lawrence was not done scoring in the inning as freshman Rudy Muller-Schrader singled to left sending Zemark home to make the score 11-6. Lakeland tacked on another three runs in the eighth inning, but it was not enough and the Vikings took the win 11-9.
Lawrence recorded 18 hits in the game. Spencer and Jones each had four hits while Zemark and McDonnell contributed 3 apiece. McDonnell also had 3 RBIs in the contest. Junior Kyle Duex recorded the win for the Vikings as he pitched five plus innings, giving up four runs and four walks while striking out six of the 24 batters he faced. Freshman Brad Olson and Rabideau each pitched two innings for Lawrence in the game as well.
With the win, the Vikings improve to 5-24-1 on the season. Their conference record remains unchanged at 1-10-1. Looking ahead, the team has one more non-conference game on Thursday, May 4, against Concordia before two double-headers against St. Norbert College on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. Lawrence plays host on Friday with the games scheduled for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Whiting Field. This is the last weekend of scheduled play for the team and they hope to end the season on a strong note.