Strong Pitching, More Late Heroics Lead Storm to Sweep of Walsh

Doug Fox (Photo by Ryan Baker/Baker Media Productions)

PAINESVILLE, OHIO –  Another day, another bottom of the ninth inning win for the Lake Erie College baseball team.  Senior Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) singled in sophomore Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby) in extra innings for a 3-2 win over visiting Walsh University in the second game of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader Wednesday (April 17).  That coupled with stellar pitching throughout gave Lake Erie a sweep after a 4-0 win in the opener at Braggs Field.

In the two games, five Storm (11-22, 8-12 GLIAC) pitchers combined to allow just two unearned runs on seven hits in 16 innings. Walsh (16-13, 10-9 GLIAC) entered the day averaging better than five runs per contest.

In game one, junior Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and senior Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) combined on a two-hit shutout.

Kilway (3-3) went 6 1/3 innings, giving up a single and a double while walking three. He struck out five in evening his season record. Fox came on to retire the final two hitters with the bases loaded to pick up his first save of the season.

Senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine), who had the game-winning hit in a 6-5 win Tuesday over Ohio Dominican University, drove in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly in the second and then added an RBI single in the fourth.  Junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) followed with an RBI single of his own to make it 3-0.

Lindgren launched a solo home run to right field, his team-leading sixth of the season, in the sixth inning to cap the scoring.

 Brandon Whitslar (3-2) took the loss, giving up four total runs on nine hits in six innings. Only three of the runs were earned. He walked one and struck out two. Andrew Bonnette and Trevor Smith each had hits for the Cavaliers, with Smith also getting on base twice after being hit by pitches.

Lake Erie jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game two. Blood had a first-inning sacrifice fly and sophomore Josh Hudeck (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity/Ashland) singled in a run in the fourth.

Walsh scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth to tie the game on a two-run bases-loaded single from Andy DePeel.

Sophomore Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was solid in his first intercollegiate start, but did not factor in the decision. He was charged with two unearned runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out three.

The Storm had a chance to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but Walsh starter David Roper escaped the jam to keep the game tied. They also had two on in the seventh and the eighth, but closer Neal Edwards got out of trouble each time to extend the game.

They put two on again in the ninth after Lindgren reached on an error and Zach DeCamp followed with a one-out intentional walk.  After a groundout, Blood delivered Edwards' first pitch into left field to plate the winning run.

Blood's hit followed three sensational innings of relief from Fox (3-3).  He retired all nine batters he faced in game two, striking out five of the final six hitters.  In the two games, the two-time all-league pick struck out six in 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief to earn a win and a save.

Roper went six, allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked just one.

Blood, Emling, Hudeck and freshman Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) all had two hits for Lake Erie.

Now right back in the thick of the race for a spot in the GLIAC Tournament, the Storm is on the road this weekend for a three-game series at Grand Valley State University Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21.

-LEC-