PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Visiting Saginaw Valley State University won a shootout in the opener and then held on in a fine pitchers' performance in game two to earn a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of the Lake Erie College baseball team Saturday (April 6) at Braggs Field. The Cardinals built a nine-run lead in the first game en route to a 14-9 win and then cut short a Lake Erie rally attempt to win game two, 4-2.
Backed by a two-run home run by Ryan Hotmer, Saginaw Valley (8-13, 6-5 GLIAC) took an early 5-1 lead in the opener. Lake Erie (7-19, 4-9 GLIAC) scored twice in the third when Brad Schalk couldn't handle Lou Peterlin's (Mentor, Ohio/Lake Catholic) fly ball at the center field fence to make it a 5-3 game.
The Cardinals then appeared to break it open with a seven-run fourth. Saginaw Valley sent 12 men to the plate in the inning, with seven of them picking up hits. Five players drove in runs in the frame, including a three-run double by Kyle O'Boyle that just eluded a diving Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) in center.
Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) brought the Storm closer with a three-run blast to right center in the bottom of the fifth, his second home run of the season. Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) followed with a three-run homer of his own in the sixth to make it 12-9. The home run was DeCamp's team-leading fifth of the season.
Saginaw Valley used a bit of small ball that turned out big to put the game away. With runners at second and third, Chris Perkovich squared to bunt to get the Storm defense rotating. His bunt got by pitcher Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and, with no fielders to stop it, rolled into center field. Perkovich ended up on second with a double and both runners scored to push the lead up to five.
Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) had three hits and was on base four times in the game. DeCamp had two hits and Lindgren scored twice.
Five Cardinals had multiple hits, led by Hotmer and Chet Lafave with three each. Perkovich finished with four runs batted in while Michael Craig scored three times.
The offensive support was enough for Mike Shaaf (2-1) to pick up the pitching win. He allowed six runs on six hits in five innings, though only three runs were earned. He walked four and struck out seven. Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) took the loss for Lake Erie, giving up nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Kilway (2-3) walked four and struck out just two.
Jimmie Shaw (Holland, Ohio/Toledo St. John) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Storm.
Peterlin singled in two runs in the bottom of the first in game two to give LEC the early advantage.
But that would be all the Storm would get off Andrew Geese, the Cardinals starter. Geese (2-2) pitched into the seventh, scattering eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just the two first inning runs and struck out five against just one walk.
The Saginaw Valley offense, meanwhile, took advantage of a couple defensive miscues by Lake Erie. The Cardinals scored an unearned run in the second and then took the lead the following inning on a two-run double by Lafave. Another Storm error in the fourth plated another Cardinals run that made it 4-2.
Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) did his best to keep the Storm in the game, as he went the distance for the second time this season. Nordquist (0-6) allowed two earned runs (four total) on six hits in seven innings, striking out five and not walking a batter.
A double by DeCamp but runners at second and third with two outs in the seventh, but Justin Drzewicki came out of the bullpen to retire Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) to end the game and pick up his third save.
DeCamp and Lindgren each had two hits in game two to pace the Lake Erie offense. Kyle Kaufmann had a pair of hits as well to lead the Cardinals.
The two teams conclude their series with a single nine-inning game at Braggs Field Sunday, April 7, beginning at noon.