NEW ULM The Martin Luther College Knights dropped two games 9-6 and 11-7 against Upper Midwest Athletic Conference opponent Northwestern College on Saturday.
Starting pitcher Jake Ziel was able to keep the Eagles off of the board for the first three innings in the first game, but they broke through with three runs in the fourth inning, and they would lead the rest of the game.
MLC took a blow in the fourth inning when starting shortstop Matt Olson was forced to leave the game with an injured wrist after a collision with a Northwestern player during a double-play attempt.
Freshman James Hemmelman came into the game to replace Olson.
The Knights finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Ziel walked and then stole second base before scoring on an RBI single by junior Galen Holzhueter.
MLC looked like it would pull within one run of the Eagles later in the inning when Holzhueter stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball, but the inning ended along with MLC's momentum when he was thrown out at the plate trying to take two bases on the passed ball.
Northwestern scored three runs on Ziel in the seventh inning and three runs off of reliever Wyatt Weimer in the eighth inning to extend its lead to 9-1 going into the ninth inning.
MLC scored five runs in the ninth inning on an RBI by Hemmelman and two RBI by Tyler Dorn along with a compilation of errors by Northwestern's defense, but in the end the rally fell short.
Ziel took the loss for MLC, giving up four earned runs through seven innings on five hits and five strikeouts.
The Knights found themselves down 7-0 in the second game before left fielder Andrew Nemmers hit an RBI single to get the Knights on the board in the third inning.
MLC pulled within four runs of Northwestern in the fifth inning after RBI by Holzhueter and Nemmers.
Northwestern scored single runs in the seventh and ninth innings to extend its lead to 11-5.
The Knights looked like they might make another late run in the bottom of the ninth inning when Dillon Rannow hit a two RBI single, but they were not able to muster any more runs and lost by a score of 11-7.
"I was very pleased with our hitting and our defense today," MLC head coach Randy Cox said. "Northwestern is a quality team, and I thought we played well against them."
Janke was the losing pitcher for the Knights in game two. He gave up 10 earned runs through 6 1/3 innings on 15 hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.
Holzhueter led MLC at the plate going 5-for-9 on the day with two RBI. Nemmers was 3-for-8 with two RBI.
The Knights (6-8, 2-4) play again at home today against the University of Minnesota-Morris at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.