PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Jacob Petkac just slid under the tag at home on Ben Minard's one-out single in the bottom of the eighth to give host Ashland University a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Lake Erie College baseball team at Donges Field in Ashland on Thursday (April 28).
The close call at the plate completed a rally from a 4-1 deficit for the Eagles (29-17) in a preview of future GLIAC South Division match-ups.
The Storm (18-27) led 3-1 after two innings and 4-1 after three. Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) had a two-run single in the second Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) doubled and scored on an error in the third.
After allowing a solo home run in the first to Evan Melendez, starter Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) cruised through the next four innings, allowing just one other hit, before running into trouble in the sixth.
The first three hitters of the inning singled, ending the day for Norquist. The Eagles then scored three times on a sacrifice fly, an error by Mike Morgan (Indian Lake, Ohio/Russells Point) and another sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), who drove in the game's first run, singled and advanced to second to open the eighth, but reliever Jeremy Sloan came in to put an end to the Storm's threat, setting the stage for Minard and Petkac's heroics in the bottom of the frame.
Sloan (3-0) picked up the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Mike Doretich, who went 7 1/3 innings and allowed four runs – one earned- on nine hits with six strikeouts.
Pat Sinko (Hudson, Ohio/Trinity), the third Storm hurler of the night, suffered the loss after walking Petkac and surrendering Minard's hit. Nordquist allowed three earned runs (four total) in five innings. He gave up five hits and a walk while striking out two.
Toth and James each had three hits to lead the Storm, which outhit Ashland 9-7 in the game.
Lake Erie hosts Malone University in the home finale on Saturday, May 1, at Braggs Field.