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Lake Erie

Storm Hammer Pioneers in Game Two to Earn Doubleheader Split

Aaron Lindgren
Aaron Lindgren

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – After dropping another one-run contest in extra innings, the Lake Erie College baseball team showed no carryover in game two, erupting for a season-high tying 11 runs in game two to split a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader Friday (April 26) at home against Malone University.

The Storm (12-26, 9-16 GLIAC) lost for the second straight time in extra innings and dropped their 10th one-run game of the season in the opener as the Pioneers (17-23, 11-15 GLIAC) came away with a 3-2 win in 10 innings.  Game two was bereft of any drama, with Lake Erie jumping out big early behind two home runs from sophomore Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South)  and a stellar outing from senior Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) in coasting to an 11-4 win.

Game one was tied at 1-1 going into the seventh when both teams scored a run apiece.  The Pioneers took advantage of back-to-back Storm errors to go up 2-1 only to have Lake Erie answer back in the bottom half to force extra innings. Sophomore Josh Hudeck (Macedonia, Ohio/Trinity/Ashland) ended a 12-pitch at-bat with a single up the middle to score pinch runner Tyler Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) and extend the game.

Another defensive miscue by the Storm extend Malone's 10th inning and the Pioneers took full advantage. Bob Suitca's fourth hit of the game, a single back up the middle, proved to plate the winning run, scoring Michael Chack from second.

Both starters pitched well but neither factored in the decision.  Junior Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) went the first six innings for Lake Erie, allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out four and walked two before giving way to senior Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge).  Malone starter Jared Messer tossed eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out eight and walked just one.

Fox (3-4) was solid in relief but couldn't overcome the defensive lapses as he was charged with allowing two unearned runs on two hits in 3 2/3 innings.  Jesse Coblentz (2-1) got the win for the Pioneers, giving up just a hit and striking out three in two shutout innings.

Aaron Lindgren and Zach Mosbarger (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) each had two hits for the Storm. Only two other Pioneers had hits besides Suitca, who was four-for-four in the opener.

Cody Blood's (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) sacrifice fly three batters into the game gave the Storm a 1-0 lead early in game two. A batter later, Malone starter Dillon Stertzbach left with an apparent back injury and the Storm jumped all over the Pioneers bullpen.  Senior Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and sophomore Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle) added RBI singles in the first for a 3-0 lead.

Lindgren blasted a two-run homer to right in the second to make it 5-0 and Lake Erie tagged on three more in the third inning, with Mosbarger, Hudeck and freshman Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) driving in runs in that frame. Mathews singled in a run in the fourth and Hudeck scored when Mathews got himself caught in a rundown to make it a 10-0 game.

Lindgren followed an inning later with a solo shot, nearly to the identical spot in right field as his first homer.

All that run support was plenty for Beach (3-3), who cruised through six shutout innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out six, walking three. He worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but was never threatened after that until letting the first two hitters of the seventh reach.

He was charged for the two runs in six-plus innings on his way to his 17th career victory.

The Pioneers got an RBI double from pinch hitter Taylore Baker, a pair of run-scoring groundouts and a bases loaded passed ball to score four runs in the seventh.

Lindgren, who drove in three runs and scored three times, and junior Garrett Emling (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) led the way offensively with three hits each while Hudeck and Mathews each had two.

Mathews had a pair of RBI while Hudeck and Kilway each scored two times.

Suitca singled and walked for the Pioneers.  Brad Beachy allowed seven earned runs, eight total, in 3 2/3 innings after replacing Stertzbach.

The Storm looks to make a move up the conference standings this weekend starting Saturday, April 27, when they host sixth-place University of Findlay to open a three-game series with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.