PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Sophomore Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./ Warren De La Salle) scored the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning to give the Green Team an 8-7 victory over the Black Team and its first Storm Fall League since 2009 as the Lake Erie College baseball team concluded its fall season Wednesday, Oct. 17, with the completion of the championship game.
The two teams played 10 innings on Saturday, Oct. 14, as part of Reid Rizzo Day before darkness forced the suspension of play. In addition to the game, the day's events featured the annual Family Day picnic, a short memorial programming honoring Reid's memory and the unveiling of a "Rizzo 7" banner that will hang on the center field wall at Braggs Field. Both teams wore special "Rizzo 7" jerseys for the game.
Originally scheduled for 13-innings, the SFL Championship Game needed one more before the back-and-forth affair could be settled. Mathews led off the 14th with his third hit of the game and came around to score the winning run on a passed ball and claim the SFL Cup.
"This was one of the best SFL championship games we've ever had," said head coach Brian McGee. "It was a special weekend all around for our team, the Rizzo family and our baseball family, and I believe that Reid's memory was with us and motivated this team to battle and put on a great show. I think they all played as hard as Reid would have and never took a pitch off."
Senior Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) homered early to give the Black Team a 2-0 lead. But the Green Team battled back behind freshman Lou Peterlin (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic). Peterlin had three hits, including a pair of doubles, walked twice and drove in three runs in earning the game's "Most Valuable Player" award.
Junior Brad Raley (Hinkley, Ohio/Highland) made his return to the field after missing the second half of last season with an injury, struck out the side in his one inning of relief work and was named "Pitcher of the Game."
In addition to the three-hit games by Peterlin and Mathews, the Green Team got support from senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontain, Ohio/Bellefontain), sophomore Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and freshmen Matthew Avromov (Shelby Township, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) and Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) who each had two hits.
Senior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) got the win for the Green Team. He did not allow an earned run and struck out two hitters in his two innings of work. Junior Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) took the loss, despite only allowing one run on two hits in 3 2/3 innings.
The Black Team's offense was led by sophomore Josh Hudek (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity/Ashland) who had a game-high four hits in six at-bats and scored twice. Kilway, classmate Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) and freshman Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) each had three hits.
The Storm now heads into winter conditioning in preparation for the 2013 season which opens Feb. 22 at Southern Indiana University.