JOHNSTOWN, PA. – Strong solid pitching and some timely offense led the Lake Erie College baseball team to a nonconference doubleheader sweep of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown at Point Stadium on Saturday (March 19). Behind sophomores Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) and Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) the Storm won 8-5 and 5-4 to run its winning streak to three straight and move above the .500 mark.
Beach (1-2) scattered five hits over six innings, but a pair of unearned runs in the first had the Storm (5-4) down early in game one. An RBI triple by reigning GLIAC player of the week Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) and double by senior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) knotted the game at 2-2 in the fourth.
But after host UPJ scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to retake the lead, Lake Erie responded with a five-run sixth. Juniors Kyle Kemp (Spotsylvania, Va./James Monroe) and Josh Crout (Hamilton, Ohio/Edgewood) each delivered a two-run double and sophomore Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) drove in a run with a double of his own.
The Mountain Cats (6-10) got a run back in the sixth, but freshman Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) struck out the side in the ninth to close the game and pick up his first save.
Only three of the runs surrendered by Beach were earned and he did not walk a batter while striking out five. The Storm offense, meanwhile, lit up UPJ ace Drew Shaulis for seven runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Shaulis entered the game with a 3-0 record and 0.90 ERA in his first three starts.
James and Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) each had three hits while Rua was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.
In game two, Nordquist (2-0) went a career-high six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts, also a career high. After giving up a pair of runs in the first, he allowed just one score over his final five innings of work.
Rua doubled in a run and scored on a sacrifice fly by James in the first to give the Storm a 2-0 lead. After UPJ tied it in the bottom of the frame, Lake Erie retook the lead in the fourth. Sophomore Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) had an RBI triple and then scored on a single by junior Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King).
Leading 4-3, the Storm manufactured a much needed insurance run in the top of the seventh. Mosbarger reached on an error, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a single by freshman Reid Rizzo (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) to make it a 5-3 game.
The Mountain Cats loaded the bases with one out in the seventh off reliever Jimmy Shaw (Holland, Ohio/Toledo St. John) before redshirt sophomore J.D. Ingalls (Madison, Ohio/Madison) came on to get a groundout, which did score a run, and a strikeout to end the game.
Ingalls earned his second save.
Toth had two of the Storm's nine hits in game two. Shaulis and Andy rubal each had two hits for UPJ. Jon Moore (2-2) took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings.
The Storm is next in action on Wednesday, March 23, with a nonconference doubleheader at the University of Charleston.