GAFFNEY, S.C. – Freshman Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) had a career-high four hits and the Lake Erie College baseball team posted season highs in runs and hits, but it wasn't enough as host Limestone College put together a pair of four-run innings early in a q12-6 nonconference victory at Bob Prevatte Field.
The Storm (0-6) struck first, with freshman Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) drawing a bases loaded walk in the top of the first inning to five LEC a 1-0 lead. But Limestone (12-5) starter Matt Varnadoe got a double play groundball to escape further damage.
The Saints then scored four times in the bottom of the first and then, after a scoreless second, added three in the third inning to chase sophomore starter Russ Hogue (Belle Center, Ohio/Indian Lake) and take a commanding 7-1 lead.
Limestone broke the game wide open in the fourth on a grand slam by Avi Ahlzadeh that made it an 11-1 game.
Junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and DeCamp each drove in a run for Lake Erie in the fifth and the Storm added another run in the sixth. Sophomore Jake Ripma (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush) doubled in two runs in the ninth for the game's final runs.
DeCamp, who has a hit in every game this season, finished four-for-five on the day with two doubles and two singles. Sophomore Josh Hudeck (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity/Ashland), senior Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and freshman Matthew Avromov (Shelby Township, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) each had two hits.
Senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) singled in the ninth to match DeCamp with a six-game hitting streak to open the season. Lake Erie had 16 hits in the contest, but stranded a dozen base runners.
Ahzadeh had four hits and drove in five runs to lead the Saints while five other Limestone players had at least two hits. The Saints totaled 18 hits on the day. KJ McAllister and Michael Hughey each drove in two runs.
Vardandoe (3-1) allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings to get the win. Hogue (0-1) allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.
However, the trio of senior Tyler Minnich (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone), redshirt sophomore Brandon Grunda (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria) and sophomore Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) combined for three scoreless innings of one-hit relief from the sixth inning on.
The Storm continue their spring break trip on Wednesday, March 6, with a single nine-inning game at Greensboro College.