DUE WEST, N.C. – Inclement weather over the weekend delayed the start of the annual spring trip for the Lake Erie College baseball team and, unfortunately, the Storm will have to wait at least one more day for their first victory after dropping a pair of nonconference games at Erskine College Monday (March 4) despite a pair of solid starting pitching performances.
The host Flying Fleet (13-6) scored late in game one for a 5-3 win and got a pair of solo home runs from Chase Corn to win game two 3-1.
Lake Erie (0-5) trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning of the opener on a third-inning solo home run by sophomore catcher Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty), the first of his career. The Storm tied it at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single by freshman Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis De Sales).
Drew Willingham hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to put Erskine back in front and the hosts added two more in the sixth. The Storm loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but got only one run out of it on a sacrifice fly by freshman Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina).
Kit Carter (3-0) earned the win in relief for the Flying Fleet. Senior Adam Beach (Vermillion, Ohio/Vermillion) allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings to suffer the loss. Beach (0-2) struck out seven, walked one and hit a batter.
DeCamp and senior 3B Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) each had two hits in the first game. Willingham was one of three Erskine players with two hits and drove in a game-high three runs in the victory.
In game two, senior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) and Matt Gunter were locked into a pitchers' duel for the first four innings. The Storm got a run in the top of the fourth when senior DH Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) doubled in DeCamp. Through five innings, the only blemish on Nordquist's ledger was a leadoff home run by Corn to open the bottom of the first.
But Corn proved to be the Storm's nemesis once again, leading off the sixth with another home run, this one putting the Flying Fleet ahead 2-1. Erskine added another run in the inning on a two-out error. The Storm had one more chance and put two on in the seventh with one out, but Zach McAllister (2-2) escaped the jam to secure the win.
Nordquist (0-2) went five-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits in the hard-luck loss. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Gunter allowed a run on four hits in four innings, but did not factor in the decision.
Austin Gambrell had three hits to lead all players in game two while Corn and Cody Spence had two hits apiece. Seven different Storm hitters had one hit in the nightcap.
The Storm continue their trip on Tuesday, March 5, with a single nine-inning game at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.