CANTON, Ohio— The Lake Erie College baseball team continued their surge, taking both ends of a doubleheader against Malone University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play Tuesday (April 22) in dramatic fashion to increase their winning streak to 10 games.
The Storm (25-14, 19-7 GLIAC) took game one 5-2 in eight innings before completing a late comeback in game two to pick up a 3-2 win.
The Storm got on the board in the opening frame. Josh Hudeck (Macadeonia, Ohio/Trinity) and Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren Da La Salle) drew walks to leadoff the first-inning. Lucas Raley (Hinckley, Ohio/Medina Highland) singled to right field, scoring Hudeck for the first run and moving Mathews to third. Raley was caught stealing soon after but Mathews was able to make it home to give Lake Erie a two-run advantage.
The score remained that way until the bottom of seventh. With two outs and runners are second and third, Malone singled to center field, bringing home the two base runners to tie the game.
In the top-of-the-eighth, Mathews and Raley drew walks with one out. Zack DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) singled through the right side, bringing Mathews in from second and moving Raley to third. The next batter, Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South), hit a sac-fly to right field, bringing Raley home and once again, giving the Storm a two run advantage. The Storm continued to roll in the eighth with Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio, Ohio/Tallmadge) singling to center field, scoring DeCamp from second.
In the bottom of the frame, Brandon Grunda (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria) held the Pioneers off the board to seal the win for the Storm in game one.
Grunda picked up his third win of the season for the Storm, allowing no runs and striking out two in 1.1 innings. Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) went 6.2 innings in a no-decision, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out four.
DeCamp led the Storm with three hits in game one and one RBI and one run. Raley had two hits, one RBI and one run. Lindgren and Emling had one RBI apiece. Mathews and Hudeck drew two talks and combined for three runs- two and one respectively.
The Storm posed the first threat in game two, loading the bases in the second off of two walks and a hit-by-pitch but Malone was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout. In the bottom of the frame, the Pioneers had runners on first and second with one out but Storm pitcher Christopher Tomshack (Avon, Ohio/Elyria Catholic) forced Malone to hit into an inning ending double play to squelch the threat.
The Pioneers broke the stalemate in the bottom of the third, plating two runs to pull ahead. The Storm threatened again in the sixth. Alex Lind (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Elder) led off with an infield single and moved to second on a Austin Bovenzi (Fairport, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) sac-bunt. Hudeck followed it up with a single to center field to put runners at the corners with one out. Mathews lined out to centerfield but his sacrifice brought Lind home to cut the Pioneer lead to 2-1 heading into the bottom of the frame.
With two outs in the top-of-the-seventh trailing by one, the Storm posted runners at first and second with Lind at the plate. Lind came through in the clutch, singling to right field, scoring Emling from second to tie up the game. After Bovenzi drew a walk to load the bases, Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) scored on a wild pitch to give the Storm their first lead of the day.
Grunda made his second appearance of the day in the bottom of the seventh, holding the Pioneers without a hit in the bottom-of-the-ninth to lift the Storm to their tenth straight win and his fifth save.
Raley, Luebke and Lind had two hits apiece for the Storm in game two. Mathews and Lind tallied a RBI each. D.J. Stastny (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity) picked up the win on the mound to improve to 6-0 this season, going 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and no runs.
The Storm returns to action this weekend (April 26-27) for a series against Wayne State University in Painesville.