SAINT LEO, FLA. – The Lake Erie College baseball team fell behind early and could not recover as it dropped an 8-4 decision at Saint Leo University Tuesday night (March 8). The host Lions led 7-0 after three innings and made that lead stand up despite some solid relief work by the Storm bullpen.
Veterans Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King), Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) and Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) each had three hits for the Storm (0-3), who had 10 hits and struck out just once in the contest.
Anthony Santa, who drove in four runs and was one of seven Saint Leo players with two hits in the game, had a RBI single to open the scoring in the second inning and Kory Wan followed with a two-run double. The Lions (8-10) scored four times in the third, including a two-run sacrifice fly to deep left field by Santa and a bases loaded hit-batsman.
Lake Erie took advantage of the game's only error in the fourth, as three runs scored on a dropped two-out pop up by Ryan Powers.
The added another run in the fifth on a Rua RBI single to cut the lead to three at 7-4.
After three shutout innings by freshman reliever Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge), Santa put the game out of reach with a solo home run leading off the seventh off freshman D.J. Stastny (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity).
The homerun by Santa was the only run allowed by three Storm hurlers over the final four innings. But the Storm was unable to even the score thanks to similar work from the Lions' pen, as Henry Johnson and Austin Buck combined for four shutout innings.
Matthew Hewitt (2-1) got the win, allowing one earned run (four total) on six hits in five innings. Tyler Minnich (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) suffered the defeat. He (0-1) was charged with six runs – all earned- on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.
The Storm will look to pick up its first win of the young season on Wednesday, March 9, when it plays a pair of games at the Winning Inning Division II Invitational in Clearwater, Fla. Lake Erie will play Oakland City College and Cedarville University in a pair of nine-inning games.