PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- Sophomore Matt Lott (Newark, Ohio/Newark Catholic) singled in two runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the Lake Erie College baseball team a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over Salem International University Friday (April 23) at Braggs Field. The win was the Storm's 17th of the season, tying the school single season record for victories.
The Storm (17-24) had a 3-1 lead erased in the fifth and then say the Tigers (11-33) go ahead with a run in the seventh.
Junior Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) walked to open the eighth. After he was lifted for pinch runner Cale Marker (Greenville, Ohio/Greenville), junior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) dropped down a bunt in a sacrifice attempt, but the throw was dropped by Kevin Dematt and got away, allowing Marker and James to move up to third and second, respectively.
After an out, Lott, who matched his career high with three hits, singled through the left side off reliver Jayson Barnes (1-2) to score both runners.
James opened the scoring with a solo home run to right in the second. Salem answered back in the third to tie it on a single by Michael Holb.
Lott doubled with two outs in the fourth and scored on a double by classmate Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls). Mike Morgan (Indian Lake, Ohio/Russells Point) followed with a single to score Leeworthy and make it a 3-1 game.
The Tigers again tied it in the fifth, getting a run on a grounder by Kenneth Mino and another on a single by Joel Bacon. That ended the day for Storm starter Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard). Backes battled through five innings, allowing just one earned run (three total) on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts. He did hit four batters, but escaped several times with a pickoff and by Lovick nailing two attempted base stealers.
The Tigers, who stranded 11 runners on the day, scored a run in the seventh on an infield single by Bacon to take the lead. But freshman Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) got out of the inning without any addition damage and followed with a scoreless eighth to set the stage for Lott's winning hit.
Fox (1-2) picked up his first collegiate victory with three innings of relief. He allowed a run on three hits while striking out four. Patrick Sinko (Hudson, Ohio/Trinity) pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.
In addition to Lott, Leeworthy had two hits and James scored two runs to pace the Lake Erie offense. Bacon and Sean Williams each had three hits for Salem.
The Storm, which has won five of its last six games, heads to Slippery Rock University this weekend for a four-game series. The teams will play seven-inning doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday (April 24-25).