CANTON, OHIO – Trailing heading with just two innings to play, the Lake Erie College baseball team rallied for three runs in the eighth inning and added an insurance run in the ninth to rally for a 4-2 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over host Malone University Wednesday night (May 1) under the lights at Thurman Munson Stadium.
A first-inning sacrifice fly by Jon Crank gave the Pioneers (19-26, 12-18 GLIAC) an early 1-0 lead, but that would be the only scoring through the first seven innings as starters Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and Jared Messers put up zeros the rest of the way.
Kilway allowed just three hits after the first inning, pitching at least six innings and allowing one run or less for the third straight start. He struck out eight and walked just two in 6 2/3 innings.
Messer was equally as good, keeping the Storm (15-27, 12-17 GLIAC) off the board on just four hits through the first seven innings. He ran into trouble in the eighth, however, as Lake Erie finally broke through.
With one out, sophomore Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle) and senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) singled and sophomore Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby) delivered a two-run triple to right field to put the Storm ahead 2-1. Junior Garret Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) followed with an infield single to score Lindgren and make it 3-1.
After a Logan Gray sac fly in the bottom of the inning cut the LEC lead to a single run, Mosbarger added some insurance with an RBI single in the top of the ninth. Senior Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to close Lake Erie's fourth win in the last five games.
Fox (4-4) allowed a run on three hits in 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. Messer (5-4) gave up three runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, taking the loss despite striking out 10 Lake Erie hitters.
Mosbarger and sophomore Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) had two hits each to lead the Storm offense. Crank and Bryce Miller had two hits apiece for the Pioneers.
The Storm now trail Tiffin University by just one game in the loss column and the University of Findlay by percentage points, for the sixth and final GLIAC Tournament spot. Lake Erie opens a three-game series at home Saturday, May 4, against Northwood University.