Nick Knoche

Left-handed hitting catcher Nick Knoche hit a double, and teammate Nick Schreiber had two hits and threw well off the mound, but the McFarland Muskies lost 4-1 at Utica last Sunday for the Home Talent League's team third loss in a row.

Late last month, the McFarland Muskies inserted themselves into the playoff hunt with consecutive wins over Cambridge and Lake Mills to improve its record to 3-4. Since then, things have changed.

The Muskies suffered its third loss in a row Sunday after a 4-1 defeat against host Utica. The defeat comes after a 17-5 hammering by Stoughton on July 4 and a 9-4 setback to Jefferson on June 30. McFarland dropped to four full games behind Fort Atkinson for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Southeast Section.

Starting pitcher Nick Schreiber put on another sparkling effort for the Muskies with 10 strikeouts, five walks and nine hits allowed in eight innings. He also had two of McFarland’s six hits.

But Utica scored first in the third inning as Ben Hildebrandt pounded a triple and later scored on an error. McFarland tied things in the top of the fourth, but Utica regained the lead in the bottom of the inning and added two more runs in the sixth.

The Muskies hope for better luck at 1 p.m. Sunday when they play at Albion.

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