EASTLAKE, OHIO – Pitching dominated on the regular season's penultimate day Saturday (May 7) at Classic Park in Eastlake, highlighted by sophomore Adam Beach's one-hitter in the opener as the Lake Erie College baseball team split a doubleheader with Wayne State University.
Behind Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) the Storm (21-24, 14-18 GLIAC) won game one 2-1. Brett Shankin threw a six-hit complete game in the nightcap as Wayne State pulled out a 3-1 victory.
The loss in the second game officially eliminated Lake Erie from playoff contention in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Beach (4-4) was sensational in the opener, matching his career high with nine strikeouts and working his way around five walks. The only hit he allowed was a second-inning single to Michael Wiseman. Wiseman led off the frame with a single and later scored on a bases-loaded walk.
That second inning could have been much worse, as the Warriors loaded the bases with no one out, but battled back to strike out the side and hold Wayne State to just that one run.
Lake Erie scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. Junior Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) singled and scored on a two-out double to the gap by classmate Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/Lakeland C.C.).
Sophomore Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) singled with two outs in the second and came around to score on Zach Mosbarger's (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) triple to right field that sent C.J. Maszal crashing into the wall. Maszal left the game following the play.
But after that Beach and Warriors' starter Josh Wedesky (8-1) tossed up zeroes on the scoreboard in a classic pitchers' duel. Wedesky allowed just the two runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in suffering his first loss of the season.
Beach went the distance for the third time this season and picked up his team-leading fourth win.
In game two, Brett Shankin and Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) battled to a 1-1 tie through five innings.
Rua singled in the fourth, stole second and scored on a single by senior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) to give Lake Erie a 1-0 lead. The Warriors responded to tie it with an unearned run in the fifth.
It was 1-1 into the top of the seventh when Andrew Ciennik drew a one-out walk off sophomore reliever Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Parma). Phil Swanson then attempted a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Fox, but his throw was wide of first and allowed Ciennik to advance to third.
A wild pitch plated Ciennik with the go-ahead run and Swanson later scored on a two-out single by Chris Gebara.
Base hits in the bottom of the seventh by junior Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) and Kilway brought the winning run to the plate, but Shankin escaped the jam to close out the game.
Shankin (7-2) allowed just the one run on six hits and did not walk a batter. He struck out eight in his team-leading sixth complete game of the year.
Backes did not receive a decision but was solid in his five innings of work. He allowed just an unearned run on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. He was helped out by four double plays turned by LEC.
Fox (1-1) took the loss, despite not allowing a hit in 1 1/3 innings. He was charged with the two unearned runs.
Rua, Kilway, Leeworthy and sophomore Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) all had a hit in each game for the Storm.
The two teams will close the 2011 regular season on Sunday, May 8, at Classic Park. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. with Senior Day activities beginning at 11:45 a.m.