PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- For the second straight day, visiting Grand Valley State University took a pair of games from the Lake Erie College baseball team, sweeping the conference-opening weekend series from the Storm at Braggs Field. The fourth-ranked Lakers held on for a 7-5 win in game one and then broke open an extremely close game in the nightcap with a nine-run seventh en route to a 12-1 final score on Sunday (March 27).
In the opener, each team took advantage of defensive miscues to score single runs in the first inning, but the Lakers (15-2, 4-0 GLIAC) went ahead with a pair of runs in the third on a two-run double by Steve Anderson. Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) doubled and scored on a Brayan Cacique (Lakeland C.C.) single to get a run back in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-2.
A two-run single by Andrew Trepel in the fifth but the Lakers up three and they added another run in the sixth on a hit by Paul Young. The Storm scored a pair of runs on a throwing error by secondbaseman Garrett Yatch in the sixth and had the bases loaded with just one out in the seventh. But a dropped fly ball by Cody Grice resulted in a put out at second base instead of an extra opportunity for the Storm and Brad Zambron escaped the two-on, two-out jam to close out his second save in as many days.
Ryan Garman earned the win for the Lakers, allowing two earned runs (four total) on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Sophomore Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) suffered the loss, falling to 1-3. He allowed three runs (one earned) in three innings.
Toth, and fellow juniors Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele) and Matt Vanni (Willowick, Ohio/Cleveland Benedictine) each had two hits for Lake Erie in the first game. Yatch had three and Young and Anderson each had two to lead the Laker offense.
In game two, freshman Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) held the Lakers to just one run through the first five innings in his first start, but a pair of unearned runs with two-outs in the top of the sixth gave Grand Valley a 3-0 lead.
Kyle Kemp (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe) drove in Cacique in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 3-1, but the Lakers exploded for nine runs in the seventh off three Storm relievers to put the game away. The big blow in the inning was a grand slam by Young.
The Storm was unable to take advantage of a bases-loaded situation with one out in the fourth and stranded two batters an inning later. All told, Lake Erie left 17 runners on base in the two games Sunday.
Kilway (0-1) allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two but walked five. Christopher Whitney got the win for the Lakers, scattering eight hits in 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
Toth had two more hits in the nightcap, as did Cacique and Kemp.
The Storm will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday when it travels to Erie, Pa. for a nonconference nine-inning game at Mercyhurst College. The game was originally slated to be played in Painesville, but was changed late last week. First-pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.