PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Freshman Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the fifth and the Storm bullpen held regionally-ranked host Mercyhurst College scoreless over the final 3 2/3 innings as the Lake Erie College baseball team picked up a 9-6 win to earn a split of Wednesday's (April 7) doubleheader and snap a season-long nine-game losing streak.
The Storm (10-17) trailed 6-5 after four innings, but scored three runs in the fourth and then another in the sixth. After Mosbarger's hit, sophomore Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) executed a squeeze bunt for the Storm's third run of the inning. Freshman Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) delivered a sacrifice fly in sixth.
After Mercyhurst (16-14) took a 6-5 lead with three runs in the fourth, freshman ace Adam Beach (Vermillion, Ohio/Vermillion), pitching in relief, escaped a jam and get out of the inning. After that, the trio of relievers Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard), Pat Sinko (Hudson, Ohio/Trinity) and Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) combined to limit the Lakers to just one hit over the final three innings with five strikeouts.
Beach earned the win to improve to 4-0, while Rua picked up his first save. The Storm had just seven hits in the game, but took advantage of 11 walks by Mercyhurst pitchers in the nightcap. Toth and Mosbarger each drove in two runs. The Storm staff held the Lakers to just five hits.
Thanks to a handful of walks and an error, the Storm scored three runs in the first without a hit. Mercyhurst rallied with two in the bottom of the inning and another run in the second. And after the Storm scored twice in the fourth on singles by Toth and junior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), the Lakers responded with three in the fourth to take the 6-5 lead.
Lake Erie was able to pull off the comeback in game two after nearly accomplishing the feat earlier in the day.
The Lakers led game one 5-0 after a four-run fourth inning, but the Storm rallied late. Lake Erie plated three runs in the sixth with sophomore Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) delivering a two-run single and Blood following with a run-scoring single.
Sophomore Rua singled in a run in the seventh and advanced to third with one out, but reliever Jordan Backes came in and struck out the final two hitters to save the game.
Leeworthy, Rua and Toth each had two hits for the Storm in the game.
Lake Erie opens a three-game series at the University of Charleston (W. Va.) on Friday, April 9, at 3 p.m.