MLC baseball season ends with loss to NWC

DULUTH – The Martin Luther College baseball team saw its season end with a 5-2 loss to Northwestern in an elimination game at the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference postseason tournament Saturday afternoon.

The Knights were playing their fourth game in less than 48 hours, and were forced to start Joe Janke on just one day of rest. He pitched admirably, giving the Knights five strong innings and allowing only one run on six hits and one walk before exiting with MLC trailing 1-0.

Matt Olson came in relief in the sixth inning after starting yesterday’s early game against CSS. He allowed one run in the sixth, but pitched a scoreless seventh to keep the Knights in the game at 2-0.

MLC would get on the board in the top of the eighth, with Brad Essig reaching base on a single and scoring later in the inning on a single by Dillon Rannow. The Knights put runners at second and third base with one out in the inning, but NWC pitcher Zach Markwith struck out the next two batters to end the threat and keep the Eagles ahead 2-1.

The Knights threatened in the final inning, loading the bases with one out thanks to singles by Jake Ziel and William Jensen before Dorn was hit by a pitch. Essig drove Ziel home with a fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 5-2 with two outs and two runners still on base, but Markwith got James Hemmelman to ground out to first base for the final out to end the game.

Janke took the loss, dropping his record to 4-2 on the season.

MLC fished with seven hits in the game compared to nine for NWC. Essig and Ziel each finished with one hit and one run.

The Knights finished the season 14-12 with the loss, having reached the postseason tournament for the first time as a program since 2008.

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