MONTICELLO, ARK. – A fantastic pitching performance by junior Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) earned the Lake Erie College baseball team a split on the final day of the team's spring break trip Thursday (March 16).
Beach and junior All-GLIAC reliever Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) combined on a two-hit shutout as the Storm (2-7) defeated the host school, the University of Arkansas at Monticello 5-0 in the first game.
A five-run second inning by Southern Arkansas University in the second game did in Lake Erie in a 13-2 loss in the final game of the southern trip. The Storm went 2-4 against four tested opponents with a combined winning percentage of .600 through 74 games already this season.
The story in the opener was Beach (1-2), who made his third straight quality start to open the season and arguably one of the best of his career. He held the Bole Weevils (11-10) to just two hits in seven innings and matched his season high with eight strikeouts. He walked just two batters and allowed just two runners to reach second base.
Fox closed it out with two scoreless innings, his fourth scoreless appearance this spring.
The Storm offense, meanwhile, grinded things out with single runs in each of the first five innings. Senior Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/John I. Leonard/Lakeland C.C.) hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, fifth-year senior Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) drew a walk and later scored on a throwing error by the catcher in the second and drove in a run on a groundball in the third. Cacique singled in another run in the fourth and freshman Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/South) drove in his first collegiate RBI with a base hit in the fifth.
In game two, the Storm fell behind Southern Arkansas (12-10) 3-0 after the first inning, but got two of those runs back in the second on a two-run single by junior Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellfontaine).
But the Muleriders responded with a five-run second, keyed by two-run doubles from David Allday and Brady Capshaw, and then scored two more times in the third to make it a 10-2 game. Southern Arkansas then tagged on three more runs in the eighth.
The Muleriders banged out 17 hits, with six players having two or more. Capshaw had three hits and drove in three runs while Allday finished with a pair of hits, two runs scored and three RBI.
Rizzo had two hits and Cacique had one in the second game to extend their hitting streaks to seven games each.
Joey Cifuentees (1-0) allowed two runs in four innings to earn the win while four relievers combined for five scoreless innings. Senior Michael Backes (hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) allowed eight runs (seven earned) in just 1 1/3 innings to suffer the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season.
The Storm returns north and plays a doubleheader at the University of Charleston (W. Va.) on Tuesday, March 20.