PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Playing through a persistent drizzle, the Lake Erie College baseball team used small ball for big results in winning their weekend Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference series with an 11-3 victory over the University of Findlay in the series finale Sunday (April 28) at Braggs Field.
Junior Dillon Van Dyne's (Cambridge, Ohio/Cambridge) bases-loaded squeeze bunt plated all three runners in the second inning and kicked-off a six-run rally for the Storm (14-27, 11-17 GLIAC) in that frame. Sophomore Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and freshman Zach DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales), running on the pitch from second, scored on the bunt with sophomore Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle) going from first-to-third as Van Dyne beat out the play at first.
When Tommy Roush's throw to try and get Mathews at third went high, the Storm shortstop came in to score and Van Dyne ended up on second. He scored on a single by Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South). Junior Garret Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) followed with a sacrifice fly and Lindgren scored on a balk to finish off the second-inning scoring.
A two-run homer by Blake Schmenk in the third got the Oilers (19-21, 12-15 GLIAC) on the board and cut into the Storm's lead. Findlay loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but senior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) limited the damage to just one run and kept the Storm ahead 6-3.
Seniors Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) and Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) each drove in a run during a three-run fourth that moved Lake Erie back up six at 9-3. Those two paired up in the seventh when Kilway singled following Blood's lead-off double for a 10-3 lead. Mathews followed two batters with another single and an 11-3 score.
Nordquist (1-8) went six innings, allowing just three runs on six hits to pick up the victory. He battled around four walks with three strikeouts. Sophomore Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) finished it out with three innings of relief, allowing just an unearned run in the ninth.
The Storm battered Findlay ace Preston Zachrich (4-3) four nine total runs, seven earned, on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
Blood went three-for-five and scored twice while Lindgren, Mathews and Kilway each had two hits. Lindgren and senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) also scored two runs apiece.
Dylan Cintula and Jordan Garcia had two hits each for the Oilers.
The Storm returns to the field Wednesday, May 1 p.m. for a single nine-inning game at Malone University under the lights at Thurman Munson Stadium in Canton. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.