PAINESVILLE, Ohio- The Black Team took a 4-0 lead in the top half of the first and never looked back en route to a 9-6 victory over the Green Team in Game 1 of the Lake Erie College baseball team's annual Storm Fall League Championship series. Both offenses fired out of the gate quickly, but pitching was able to settle in and control the back half of the contest Tuesday (Oct. 15) at Braggs Field in Painesville's Kiwanis Recreational Park.
In the top of the first, the Black took the lead on the strength of four consecutive singles. The big blow was delivered by Todd Fennick, who delivered a shot down the right field line that would eventually score all three runners on base. A sac fly later in the inning by freshman Alex Lind plated Fennick for a 4-0 advantage.
The Green Team would not go silently, pushing three runs across in their half of the first. Garrett Emling stroked a one-out, solo home run to straight away center. Lou Peterlin and Rutger Luebke followed with back-to-back hits, and junior Dylan Yankel scored Peterlin with an RBI double to left center field. Sophomore third baseman Zach DeCamp followed with an RBI ground out to plate Luebke, allowing the Green to cut the deficit to a single run.
Black followed up in the ensuing inning, led by three consecutive two-out hits from second baseman Josh Hudeck, shortstop Sean Matthews and centerfielder Luke Raley, increasing their lead to 6-3. Green got a single and a stolen base by freshman right fielder Derek Turocy and a RBI single by Emling to make it 6-4 after two innings.
Black answered again in the top half of the third, aided by four walks from freshman right hander Jeremy Wei. Connor Fuller came on in relief and strikeout Fennick with the bases loaded. Fuller was a bright spot for the Green, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief and registering three strikeouts, continuing to add to a strong fall resume for the sophomore right hander. Two runs were scored and pushed the Black lead to 8-4. In the bottom half, Yankle led off with a single and came around to score on a cue shot single to the left side by Turocy to cut the lead to 8-5.
After a scoreless top half of the fourth for the Black squad, the Green would plate another run in the bottom half, when Emling led off the inning, and eventually score on a passed ball to stay within striking distance at 8-6
The scoring would be completed in the top half of the sixth as Raley reached on an error and came around the score on an RBI single by Lind.
Hudeck, Matthews and Raley paced the Black squad with all three recording multi-hit games. The Green was led by Emling, who went a perfect four-for-four with a homerun. Yankle also contributed three hits for the afternoon with a double and two RBI.
Sophomore right hander Parker Devenney collected the win, despite giving up two hits and an earned run in the fourth inning. Senior Brian Kilway took the loss, allowing six runs- five earned- on seven hits in two innings of work. Senior Brandon Grunda worked a very efficient final two innings for the Black Team to earn the save, allowing one single while striking out three.
The two teams are back in action for game two on Saturday (Oct. 19), as the Black team attempts to capture the SFL fall cup. The single, nine-inning contest will begin with first pitch at 11:30 a.m. In the event of a Green victory, the SFL cup will be decided in a sudden death format immediately following the conclusion of Game 2.
The Storm coaching staff and players look forward to a great day to conclude the fall season, and look forward to connecting with the many families that make of our program.