Storm Holds On in Game Two for Doubleheader Split at Barton


PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Junior captain Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) drove in three runs, including what proved to be much needed insurance, to lead the Lake Erie College baseball team to a 7-6 victory at Barton College in the second game of a doubleheader Thursday (March 4) in Wilson, N.C. Barton won the first game 5-3.
Lovick opened the game two scoring with a solo home run leading off the second. After Barton tied the game on a Wesley Francis single in the bottom of the inning, the Storm(2-2)  responded by manufacturing two runs in the third on a bases-loaded hits batsman and a double-play. 
RBI-singles by sophomores Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) and Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) in the fourth had the Storm ahead 5-4 going into the sixth. 
After an error and passed ball put runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth, Lovick singled to left to drive in both runners and give LEC a 7-4 lead.
But the Bulldogs (8-6) put the first two runners on in the sixth against sophomore Glenn Stewart (Strattanvile, Pa./Clarion Limestone) and Aaron Watkins greeted reliever Mike Morgan (Indian Lake, Ohio/Russells Point) with a two-run double to cut the lead to one.
But Morgan rebounded and retired the next three hitters to escape the jam. He put a pair of runners on in the seventh but got Ryan McCleney to pop out to end the game.
Junior Zach Justice (Cleveland, Ohio/John Marshall) got the win in relief for Lake Erie.
In the opener, Braxton Lewis hit a three-run homer in the fifth off reliever Tyler Minnich (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) to break a 2-2 tie and the Barton bullpen held on for the 5-3 win.
The Storm scored a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Rua and had both the tying and go-ahead runs on base but couldn’t push across the tying run.
Rua had two hits and Toth scored twice in the opener. Sophomore Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) took the loss, allowing four runs- three earned- on four hits in four innings. Justice pitched a scoreless inning of relief out of the pen.
Lewis finished with four RBI for the Bulldogs. Hunter Meekins got the win in relief, allowing just an unearned run in two innings.
The Storm will play a single nine-inning game at second-ranked Mount Olive College on Friday, March 5, at 10 a.m.