PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Lake Erie saw its win streak come to a screeching halt on Saturday, as the Storm fell to the Wayne State Warriors (Mich.) in both ends of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader.
LEC was defeated, 4-3, in the opener and 4-2 in the nightcap. Prior to Saturday's action, Lake Erie had won 10 straight games and was in first place in the GLIAC standings. After Saturday's twin bill against a surging Wayne State (31-11, 19-17 GLIAC) team, the Storm (25-16, 19-9) have lost two in a row and find themselves in third. The Warriors have now won 14-of-their-last-16.
In the opener Wayne State southpaw Kyle Zimmerman struck out nine in five innings of work, and the WSU bullpen followed him with four more punch-outs the rest of the way in an extra-inning affair that saw the Storm battle back from a 3-0 deficit only to fall in the ninth.
In game two Lake Erie committed four errors in a contest that saw WSU's Alex Kinch outduel LEC's Russ Hogue on the mound.
Over the two games combined, the Storm went 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
Zimmerman was staked to a 1-0 lead when the Warriors plated a solo run in the top of the first. Zimmerman's mound foe, Brian Kilway, also yielded a solo run in the second, and that bumped the WSU lead to 2-0.
Fanning multiple batters on breaking balls low-and-away, and eventually pitching with a 3-0 lead, Zimmerman made it to the fifth before being lifted for a reliever. In that fifth frame, the Storm loaded the bases but managed only one run.
Coming through in the clutch was an area in which the Storm offense struggled in multiple innings. But in the seventh, Lake Erie came through in a big way when Garrett Emling's two-run homer tied the game, 3-3.
Zack DeCamp set up the game-tying hit with a leadoff single. The next batter was Aaron Lindgren, and Lindgren nearly tied the game with a two-run homer of his own. A long fly down the right-field line missed being a home run. The next batter was Emling, and it was his home run – on a shot to right field – that tied the score, 3-3.
In the ensuing extra innings, the Warriors prevailed by scoring a lone run in the top of the ninth.
The Storm outhit Wayne State, 10-7, in seeing their win streak come to an end. Kilway went six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. LEC went 2-of-12 with runners in scoring position.
Game-two starter Russ Hogue fell behind, 4-0, in the nightcap, as the Warriors kept their momentum going by plating runs in each of the first three frames. LEC countered with two in the bottom of the third to cut WSU's lead in half.
Pitching would hold sway through the rest of the game. With both Hogue and WSU starter Alex Kinch inducing contact, the defenses stepped up and produced eight straight scoreless half-innings the rest of the way.
Kinch went the route for the Warriors; he allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. Hogue went 6-2/3 innings, allowing nine hits.
Notes: Lake Erie is batting .100 (3-for-30) with runners in scoring position over its last three games. … With the game-one loss against lefty Kyle Zimmerman, the Storm are now 8-8 this season against left-handed starters. … Lake Erie has allowed four runs or less in five straight games.
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