FORT MYERS, Fla. (WLCSports.com) – Behind strong pitching performances from Brock Vredeveld (Waterloo, Wis.) and Dylan Knoespel (Brillion, Wis.), the Wisconsin Lutheran College baseball team earned a pair of victories, 4-3 and 3-1, on Opening Day against Division II St. Michael's Sunday afternoon at the Gene Cusic Classic at Terry Park.
- Final Scores: Wisconsin Lutheran 4, St. Michael's 3; Wisconsin Lutheran 3, St. Michael's 1
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (2-0), St. Michael's (0-6)
- Location: Terry Park, Fort Myers, Fla.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
- The Warriors jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first when Brannigan Hart (Davie, Fla.) scored on a fielding error to give WLC a 1-0 lead.
- The Purple Knights got the run back in their half of the inning on a two-out RBI single to right from Trevor Allen.
- St. Michael's threatened again in the second before Hart threw a runner out at home from left field.
- KJ Banse (Racine, Wis.) put the Green and White back on top in the top of the third with a two-run homerun to right field.
- WLC added an insurance run in the fourth when Brett Jakel (Reeseville, Wis.) scored on an RBI groundout from Jake Schwall (West Allis, Wis.).
- Allen cut the deficit in half with a solo blast to right-center in the fifth inning.
- SMC got a run in the seventh, but Jacob Smrz (Milwaukee, Wis.) closed the door with the final out, stranding the tying run on second and the winning run on first.
- Hart reached base with a hit and two walks. Jake Wiedower (St. Francis, Wis.) went 2-for-4 for the Warriors' offense.
- Vredeveld earned the win in 6.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out a career-high nine batters.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
- WLC struck first in the second inning with a two-out rally when Jake Constien (Sun Prairie, Wis.) singled and advanced to second on an errant throw and Johnny Offenbacher (Waukesha, Wis.) singled to bring him home.
- SMC answered in the next half inning with an RBI groundout from Dante Morgan.
- Both pitchers cruised until the WLC half of the sixth. After singles from Vredeveld and Banse, Schwall dropped down a bunt that plated two runs to push the Warriors ahead, 3-1.
- Knoespel recorded a three-up, three-down top of the seventh inning and earned the complete game win with a one-hitter and six strikeouts.
- WLC only had four hits, one apiece from Offenbacher, Constien, Banse, and Vredeveld, but made the most of it with three runs.
FOR THE FOES
- Allen went 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs. Nick Dorcean suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs in 4.0 innings.
- Joe Robertson recorded the only hit for SMC in game two. Alex Mendez suffered the loss in 6.0 innings with only four hits allowed.
- The Warriors return to action in Fort Myers Monday afternoon with a pair of seven inning games against Amherst (0-1). First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. CST at the Player Development Complex.