PEMBROKE, N.C. – The Lake Erie College baseball team began a four-game road trip with a doubleheader split against the #11 University of North Carolina Pembroke Braves on Saturday (Feb. 25). The Storm won game one 6-5 and dropped the nightcap 14-3.
"We played a good team today and overall, I'm happy with how it went," said Storm head coach Cameron Castro. "In a three game set, it's always great to get the first one but I told out guys that they're [UNC Pembroke] going to keep coming. And that's exactly what they did."
In game one, the Storm scored five runs in the top of the ninth in a 6-5 comeback win.
Both teams held each other scoreless through the first four innings of the game before UNC Pembroke broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning with a RBI single.
David Lemasters (Cortland, Ohio / Lakeview) pitched five innings in a no-decision with one run allowed on six hits. He walked one and struck out three.
In the top of the seventh, shortstop Caleb Waller (Vermilion, Ohio / Vermilion) tied the game with a two-out solo homerun to right field for the Storm.
The Braves scored one run in the seventh and three runs in the eighth to take a 5-1 lead.
The Storm rallied with a five-run ninth inning to win the game. Catcher Nigel Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle) was hit by a pitch and first baseman Wes Birchmeier (Miamisburg, Ohio / Miamisburg) walked, moving Williams to second. Third baseman Ryan Carver (Orange Park, Fla. / Oakleaf) singled home Williams, cutting the lead to 5-2. Pinch-hitter Nathan Erzen (Brookpark, Ohio / Berea-Midpark) walked to load the bases. Following a pitching change, Waller scored everyone with a grand slam to right field. Waller's second homerun of the game put the Storm in front 6-5.
Waller went three-for-three with two homeruns and five RBI. Carver added two singles and a RBI.
The Storm jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but the Braves scored multiple runs in five innings for a 14-3 win.
Centerfielder Rees Rua (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) opened the game with a walk and scored on a two-run homerun by designated hitter Sam Browning (Cincinnati, Ohio / Archbishop McNicholas). Lake Erie led 2-0 before UNC Pembroke scored three in the bottom half of the first.
In the second, Rua singled home the shortstop Waller, who led off with a single. Rua's single tied the game at three. UNC Pembroke won the game 14-3.
Rua had two hits, two walks and one RBI in game two. Browning finished with two RBI.
"We are looking forward to a good, competitive Sunday. The game of baseball can teach you quite a bit if you let it, tomorrow is another day for us to learn."
The Storm will face the Braves in the rubber match on Sunday (Feb. 26) at 12:00 PM.