April 6, 2014

Card sharks: Storm attack shows teeth in sweep of Cardinals

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – Garrett Emling went 5-for-7 with two doubles and four RBIs and Russ Hogue tossed a shutout, as the Storm swept the Saginaw Valley Cardinals (Mich.) on Sunday.

Emling's bat was key in a 5-4 win in an extra-inning opener, and Hogue's right arm was more than SVSU could handle in a 5-0 nightcap. The twin victories came on the heels of a disappointing 13-1 loss at Saginaw on Saturday.  

The Storm (14-13, 8-6 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) moved into sixth place in the 12-team GLIAC standings with the victories. Saginaw Valley (6-16, 3-9) fell to 10 games under .500 with the losses.

With six walks in Sunday's opener and seven in the second game, Lake Erie notched a .410 on-base percentage on the day. Alex Lind had a game-winning hit in the opener.

Game 1
Brian Kilway started Sunday's opener and was tagged for four runs in the Cardinal half of the second frame. A double, two singles, a hit batsman, a walk and an error added up to the 4-0 lead for the home nine. Heath Kelley would come on to replace Kilway in the fourth, and by that point SVSU still led, 4-0, and the Storm had managed just one hit off Cardinals starter Dylan Wisniewski.

The Lake Erie offense got uncorked in the fifth when Dylan Yankle, Aaron Lindgren and Garrett Emling all singled and were pushed around by a pair of walks, one by Wisniewski and one by reliever Aaron Woods. A second relief pitcher – Dale Reetz – came on to pitch the Cardinals out of a jam. He got Sean Mathews to ground into an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play. But by then the Storm had at least cut Saginaw's 4-0 lead in half.

An Emling double put LEC in excellent position to tie the game or take the lead in the top of the seventh. The two-base hit put men at second and third with nobody out. After a fly out and a strikeout, Sean Mathews came up with a game-tying, two-run single. Mathews would work his way to third eventually, but the Storm rally was killed with the score tie, 4-4. Brandon Grunda held the Cardinals scoreless in the bottom of the seventh and the game went into extra innings.

Emling figured in LEC scoring a go-ahead run in the top of the 10th.  He singled after a Rutger Luebke walk, and Alex Lind came through with an RBI single up the middle after that.

Leading 5-4 and with D.J. Stastny on the mound, Lake Erie allowed a couple base runners in the bottom of the 10th. But the Storm infield came through by getting an out on the bases (at third) and then Stastny induced a game-ending ground-out to Josh Hudeck at second base,

Game 2
Sunday's nightcap as a scoreless pitcher's duel until the sixth when Garrett Emling ripped a bases-loaded double in the gap in left center, plating all three men on base. LEC would add to more runs in the top of the seventh, but the three in the sixth were more than enough support for Russ Hogue who was masterful in tossing his second career shutout.

Hogue did an admirable job in scattering Cardinal singles throughout much of the game. He negotiated three straight innings (second, third, fourth) with runners getting into scoring position and saved his best work for late in the game when he retired seven of the last eight SVSU batters to come to the plate.

For the game, Hogue held the Cardinals without a run on six hits and three walks. He struck out three, and made it through the outing on 91 pitches.

Aaron Lindgren went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

For Lake Erie, the Sunday sweep spelled a series win over the Cardinals, and it sends the Storm into a scheduled Tuesday home game (against Ohio Dominican) on a high note.

"I'm proud of the guys," said Head Coach Brian McGee. "They showed some resiliency and toughness today, and this should send us into the week with some momentum."


Notes: LEC's 13 walks Sunday were a trend reversal. The Storm had averaged just two walks per game over their previous seven contests. … The Green & White had two stolen bases (Rutger Luebke, Lucas Raley) in game two. That marks their most in a single game since March 21. … Aaron Lindgren logged career start No. 100 in the opener. … LEC pitching allowed just one extra-base hit over the 17 innings pitched on Sunday. … With his four RBIs on Sunday, Garrett Emling is now tied with Lucas Raley for the team lead (16). … Alex Lind reached base five times, with a single and four walks. … Hogues Sunday performance caps off a big week for the Belle Center, Ohio, native. The junior right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits in a 4-3 win over Ashland on Monday. His season ERA now sits at 2.45.


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