TIFFIN, OHIO – The Lake Erie College rallied late to earn a split of a pair of extra inning games on Friday (April 6) at Tiffin University. After falling 4-3 in 11 innings in the opener, the Storm rallied for a 7-6 win in eight innings in game two.
The split keeps the Storm (12-13, 8-4 GLIAC) just a game behind conference leaders Saginaw Valley State University and Wayne State University, both at 9-3. Winning game two snapped a three-game losing streak for the Storm.
Tiffin (10-17, 5-9 GLIAC) had a 6-0 lead after the fifth inning of the second game and looked well on its way to a sweep before the Storm mounted its rally. Lake Erie scored five times in the sixth, with four different players collecting RBIs.
Senior second baseman Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/John I. Leonard/Lakeland C.C.) drove in the tying run in the seventh inning and sophomore outfielder Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) singled in the winning run in the top of the eighth. Freshman Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), the losing pitcher in game one, pitched a perfect inning to close the game and earn his second save.
He followed senior Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) who won his first game (1-2) with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Lake Erie took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game one, getting an RBI single from junior designated hitter Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and then scored a run on passed ball by Tiffin catcher KC Weber. The Dragons tied it in the third with Ryan Williams and Pat Curtin driving in runs.
Kilway delivered a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but Tiffin answered right back with an unearned run in the bottom half of that inning to tie the game at 3-3. It stayed that way until the 11th when Roger Christensen walked, stole second and scored on an error by freshman center fielder Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/South) following Curtin's single.
Both starters allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work. Storm junior Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) worked around eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts while Tiffin's David Denneman held Lake Erie to just four hits. He did walk four but struck out five.
Storm junior reliever Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge) came on to throw four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit. Freshman Heaht Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) took the loss, falling to 1-1. Curtin (2-1) pitched the final five innings to get the win.
Cacique had two hits for the Storm in the opener. Kilway drove in a pair of runs and sophomore Reid Rizzo (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) scored twice. Three Dragons had two hits each.
Toth went 3-for-5 and freshman catcher Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) had a career-high three hits to pace the offense in game two. Kilway, Lindgren and Emling all had two hits. For the second straight game, Tiffin had three players record two hits.
The two teams wrap up their four game series on Saturday, April 7, beginning at 12 p.m.