PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Ohio Dominican went two-by-two in beating the Lake Erie Storm on Thursday. The Panthers plated two in the first, two in the fifth and two in the eighth in topping Lake Erie, 6-3.
Starting pitcher Alex Borgan held LEC to three runs over seven innings of work, and the Panther offense collected 13 hits on a warm, windswept afternoon at Braggs Field. With the victory ODU exacted a measure of reprisal – the Storm had swept the Panthers (17-14, 7-9 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in a doubleheader in Columbus, Ohio, last month (March 20).
Lake Erie (15-14, 9-7) scuffled in coming through with clutch hits in Wednesday's game – the Storm went just 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Ohio Dominican got to LEC starter Connor Fuller early. In the first six batters Fuller faced, he yielded two doubles, a single and a loud out to the warning track in center field. One of those doubles was off the bat of first baseman Anthony Raschilla, and it plated two runs in the top of the first.
Fuller got into gear in the second inning and at one point retired 9-of-10 in a stretch. He got into a jam in the fourth but escaped without allowing a run when center fielder Aaron Lindgren threw home to catcher Dylan Yankle, cutting down a runner at the plate. Lindgren and Yankle also made fine defensive plays in a 1-2-3 top of the second.
Lake Erie cut ODU's lead in half in the fourth when Garrett Emling doubled in Yankle who had led off the inning with a single.
But in the top of the fifth, the Panthers knocked out Fuller, collecting a walk and two hits en route to scoring two runs. That lifted Panther starter Alex Borgan to a 4-1 lead. Fuller's line showed four-and-1/3 innings pitched and four runs allowed on nine hits. He was relieved by Brandon Grunda, who would pitch until the eighth.
Lake Erie scored its second and third runs of the ballgame when Lucas Raley rocketed a ball over the center-field wall in the bottom of the seventh. The shot – Raley's fourth homer of the year – plated Sean Mathews and brought the Storm to within one (4-3).
The Panthers countered with their own two-run homer a half-inning later when No. 9 hitter Kyle Burson clouted a shot to left. Burson's round-tripper marked Grunda's exit, and it lifted the Panthers to a 6-3 lead. That final two-spot closed out the game's scoring.
For the game, ODU outhit LEC, 13-7. The Panthers' No. 2 –through-5 batters went a combined 8-for-16 with three walks.
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