YPSILANTI, MICH. – Senior Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) tossed six scoreless innings and the Lake Erie College baseball team kept its season alive by holding on for a 6-5 win over Saginaw Valley State University Thursday (May 9) in an elimination game at the 2013 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at Eastern Michigan University's Oestrike Stadium.
The Storm (18-29) led 6-0 after 7 ½ innings before the Cardinals (16-24) rallied to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. But a base-running error cost Saginaw Valley, as Brad Schalk was doubled off first on a fly out to center to end the game and the Cardinals' season.
But early on it appeared there would be little drama between two teams that played a 15-inning thriller at last year's GLIAC Tournament. Beach (4-3) was dominant in his six innings of work, allowing just five singles. He worked around three walks by striking out five and getting a pair of double plays. His five K's give him 211 for his career, passing James Knight (208), for the most in school history.
After being shutout by Grand Valley State University in the first round, Lake Erie jumped on Saginaw Valley starter Mike Schaaf for two runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) and junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) reached base to start the game and, following a double steal by the pair, came around to score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle) and a single by sophomore Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty).
Yankle singled in another run in the third to make it 3-0.
After that Shaaf (3-3) settled down for the next four frames before the Storm added what would prove to be much needed insurance in the eighth. The rally came with two outs as senior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) scored Yankle with a single and Lindgren followed with a two-run triple to center that made it a 6-0 game.
The Cardinals scored three times in the eight to cut the lead in half. Andy Orr had a sacrifice fly to get Saginaw Valley on the board and Ryan Hotmer and Chris Perkovich followed with two-out singles to make the score 6-3.
After a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, Saginaw put two on with nobody out and then took advantage of a Storm error to plate another run and make the score 6-4. With runners on first and third with one out, sophomore Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) came on to face clean-up hitter Chet Lafave. Lafave sent a ball deep to left by Lindgren corralled it for the first out, with Michael Craig scoring on the sacrifice fly and making it a one-run game.
Kyle O'Boyle then flew out to Mosbarger in centerfield for the second out. Mosbarger's throw back to the infield caught Schalk way off the bag from first for the double play.
The Storm banged out 13 hits in the game, including three each by Lindgren and Yankle and two apiece from Mathews and Mosbarger.
Dylin Eschenburg and Pekovich had three hits each for the Cardinals while Craig scored twice.
Kelley earned his fourth save of the season. Senior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) added a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh for LEC.
Shaafallowed six runs on 13 hits in his eight innings. He walked four and struck out a career-high eight in his college finale.
The Storm will play another elimination game on Friday, May 9, against an opponent to be determined later Thursday.