CLEARWATER, FLA. – After being held to just six hits in the opener, the Lake Erie College baseball team bounced back in game two to earn a split with Lock Haven University Friday (March 11) at the Winning Inning Academy Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., to wrap up the team's annual spring break trip.
The Storm (3-4) jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the strength of a five-run second inning. Junior Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele), who matched his career high with five hits, had the big blow, a two-run double in which he also scored on the play thanks to an error, and classmates Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) and Brayan Cacique had RBI singles. Sophomore Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) drove in a run with a double in the third and Rua had another run with a double in the fourth.
After Lock Haven (9-4) took advantage of a couple Lake Erie miscues to score three runs in the fourth, the Storm responded with a four-run fifth inning to put the game away.
Cacique singled in two runs, Toth scored on a wild pitch and Rua drove in his fourth run of the game with a single to put the Storm ahead 11-3. Junior first baseman Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) hit a solo home run in the sixth to cap the Lake Erie scoring.
Scott Zubak hit a solo homer in the sixth for the Bald Eagles and Lock Haven scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh.
Rua finished the game 5-for-5 with four RBI. Toth added three hits and Cacique drove in three runs to pace the LEC offense.
Sophomore Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) allowed two earned runs (three total) in four innings with four strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season (1-0).
In the opener, Andrew Simonick limited the Storm to just three runs – including just one over the final six innings- on six hits in a 6-3 Bald Eagles' victory. Lake Erie jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBIs from Leeworthy and Kyle Kemp (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe). Kevin Cressman homered in the second and Cory Dorman had an RBI double in the fifth to tie the game.
Rua gave the Storm the lead back in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single, but Lock Haven scored three times in the top of the sixth, including a solo shot by Brian Kochik, to take the lead and then added an insurance run in the seventh for the final margin.
Kochik finished with five hits in the two games to lead Lock Haven.
Simonick scattered six hits and walked just one while striking out seven for the win. Sophomore Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.
The Storm opens the northern portion of its schedule with a nonconference doubleheader on Saturday, March 19, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.