EASTLAKE, OHIO – After committing a throwing error in the top of the seventh that allowed the tying run to score, junior outfielder Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) atoned for his mistake with a one-out game-winning double to give the Lake Erie College baseball team a 4-3 win in the opening game of its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) series with Tiffin University. Toth then had two hits and drove in a pair of runs in a 6-2 victory in game two, leading the Storm to a sweep of the Dragons Saturday (April 9) at Classic Park.
Sophomore Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) went 6 1/3 strong innings in the opener, and the Storm (12-12, 5-7 GLIAC) had a 3-2 lead on the strength of a Brayan Cacique (Lakeland C.C.) two-run home run in the third.
But the Dragons had a runner on with two outs when Zach McCutcheon singled to right. Toth attempted to get Michael Dushane on the play, but his throw sailed high, allowing the tying run to score.
Lake Erie came right back, though. Junior Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and sophomore Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) sacrificed pinch runner Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) to second. Toth followed with a drive to the gap in left center, easily scoring Mosbarger with the winning run.
Nordquist did not factor in the decision, but just two earned runs (three total) on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Junior Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) was credited with the win (1-0) after pitching the final 2/3 innings.
Cacique's homer was his team-leading third of the season. Junior Kyle Kemp (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe) had two hits.
Pat Curtin pitched six innings for Tiffin (8-19, 5-8 GLIAC), allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four. Tony Naso (1-3) took the loss, allowing a run on one hit in a third of an inning.
In game two, freshman Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) tossed a complete-game, scattering eight hits in seven innings. He allowed just one earned run (two total) with four strikeouts and did not walk a batter to earn his first collegiate victory (1-2).
Rua and senior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) drove in runs in the first inning to give the Storm a 2-0 lead. After the Dragons got on the board with a run in top of the second, Lake Erie responded with four in the bottom of the frame to take control.
Cacique drew a bases loaded walk and Rua followed with a two-run double down the right field line. James added another RBI on a ground out later in the inning to give the Storm a five-run cushion.
After a Clin Lowe single scored a run in the third, Kilway shut the Dragons down the rest of the way. He allowed just two hits over the final 4 2/3 innings, and both those runners were erased on double plays. Toth went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored twice while Mosbarger also had a pair of hits.
Rua, the GLIAC's leading run-producer, drove in three runs to snap a 12-game RBI-less streak.
Dunshane and Lowe each had two hits for the Dragons. Connor Wendt (0-3) lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He was charged with six runs – all earned- on five hits with three walks.
The two teams will wrap-up their weekend series with another doubleheader on Sunday, April 10. Those games will be played at Braggs Field in Painesville Kiwanis Recreation Park beginning at noon.