COLUMBUS, OHIO – Behind a two-run third inning and five innings of one-run ball by senior starter Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) the Lake Erie College baseball team earned a 3-1 victory in the second game to earn a split in their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference-opening doubleheader Wednesday (March 20) at Ohio Dominican University.
The Storm (4-11, 1-1 GLIAC) rallied from deficit in the sixth inning to tie game one, only to see the Panthers (5-11, 1-1 GLIAC) come right back for a 6-4 win to take the opener.
And after winning that first game, Ohio Dominican wasted little time in getting the lead in game two as Marcus Schluessler led off with a double and came around to score on a ground out in the bottom of the first.
Lake Erie tied it in the second on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty). The Storm then went ahead in the next inning, loading the bases before a sacrifice fly from senior Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and an infield single by classmate Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) put LEC up two.
From there, Fox and redshirt sophomore Brandon Grunda (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria) kept the Panthers at bay. Fox (1-1) gave up just two more hits after Schluessler's lead-off double, finishing with a line of one run allowed on three hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out a season- and career-high-tying six. Grunda pitched two scoreless innings, scattering a pair of hits, to earn his first save.
Mosbarger had two of the Storm's five hits, scored once and drove in a run. Daniel Mooney (2-2) gave up three runs on four hits in four innings for the Panthers, but took the loss.
In the opener, Ohio Dominican took advantage of a pair of walks and two hit-batsmen to score three times in the second to take a 3-0 lead.
It was 4-2 heading into the sixth when the Storm plated a pair on a single by sophomore Josh Hudeck (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity/Ashland) to tie the score.
The momentum would be short lived for LEC however, as Kevin Lydic reached on an error to start the bottom of the sixth and then came around to score the go-ahead run on a one-out single by Ryan Rovnak. The Panthers added another run on a sacrifice fly.
Kilway led off the top of the seventh for the Storm, but Vince Bartolone retired the next three hitters to end the game.
Freshman Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) led the Lake Erie offense with three hits in the opener while Kilway, Mosbarger, Hudeck and junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) all had two hits apiece. Mosbarger also scored twice.
The Storm had 15 hits in game one, but left nine runners on base.
Sophomore Russ Hogue (Belle Center, Ohio/Indian Lake) pitched well in relief, but took the loss. Hogue (0-2) was charged with two unearned runs on three hits in three innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Junior Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) gave up four runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings, but walked two and hit three.
Collin Parcher had two hits for ODU in game one while Ryan Colegate (1-2) picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs on five hits in three innings. Bartolone earned the save. Starter Alex Borgan allowed two runs on nine hits in three innings.
The Storm's GLIAC-opening week continues on the road this weekend with a three-game series at Hillsdale College starting with a doubleheader Saturday (March 23).