FINDLAY, Ohio— The Lake Erie College baseball team picked up a two-game sweep at the University of Findlay Saturday (March 21) in their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) season opener.
The Storm won a 15-inning marathon 4-2 in game one. Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) pitched a complete game two-hitter in game two as the Storm picked up a 6-0 win.
The Storm got on the board first in the second inning. Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle) led off with a single through the right side, then stole second. A Nico DiIanni (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman) single through the left side advanced Mathews to third. When DiIanni was caught stealing second, Mathews advanced home to give the Storm a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Austin Bovenzi (Fairport, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) doubled in the seventh with one out but the Storm was unable to capitalize as the game went to extra innings.
The teams combined for just one hit over the first four extra innings. The Storm picked up two hits in the top of the 12th but was unable to bring a run home. Findlay answered with two hits in the bottom of the frame but Brandon Grunda (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria) was able to keep the threat at bay and keep the Oilers off the board.
The Oilers threatened again in the bottom of 14th but Vince Pitzulo (West Middlesex, Pa./Wilmington Area/Mercyhurst Northeast) struck out the batter with two outs.
The Storm broke the stalemate in the top of the 15th. Mathews hit a one out double. Two batters later, pinch hitter Alex Lind (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Elder) singled through the right side, scoring Mathews and advancing Cale Giddings (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North/Akron) to third. Dylan Yankle (Dublin, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) then doubled down the right field line, bringing Giddings and Lind home to give the Storm a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 15th.
The Oilers plated one in the bottom of the 15th but the Storm held on for the marathon win.
Mathews, DiIanni and Zak DeCamp (Gahanna, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) had two hits apiece. Mathews, DiIanni and Yankle each had a double. Yankle led the Storm with two RBI while Lind had one. Mathews had two of the Storm runs while Giddings and Lind also scored. Bovenzi, Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) and Tyler Kmitt (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) also had hits for the Storm. Mathews, Lind and Kmitt each had a stolen base.
Russ Hogue (Belle Center, Ohio/Indian Lake) started the game for the Storm, going 8.0 innings allowing six hits and one earned run, striking out three. Grunda went 5.0 innings giving up just two hits. Pitzulo picked up the win for the Storm, going 2.0 innings, giving up three hits and one earned run.
In the top of the second, Giddings singled through the left side to lead off. Rutger Luebke (Medina, Ohio/Medina) advanced Giddings to third on a single. Lind grounded out but brought Giddings home for the first run.
In the third, Lindgren hit a triple with one out. After Mathews was hit by a pitch, Giddings doubled to bring both baserunners home.
After three scoreless innings, the Storm struck again in the seventh. Lindgren and DeCamp hit back-to-back singles. Mathews then singled through the left side, bringing Lindgren and DeCamp home. Darren Sackett (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland) reached on an error, bringing Giddings home and securing the 6-0 win.
Lindgren, DeCamp and Gidding had two hits apiece. Giddings and Mathews each had two RBI while Lind had one.
Kelley picked up the complete game shutout, allowing just two hits while striking out six.
The Storm is back in action Sunday (March 22) for two more game at Findlay.