Storm Falls in Pair of Close Games to Malone in Urbana

Storm Falls in Pair of Close Games to Malone in Urbana

GAME ONE BOXSCORE
GAME TWO BOXSCORE

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Despite some big numbers on offense, the Lake Erie Baseball team dropped a pair of close games on Saturday (March 20), falling to Malone University 15-12 and 13-11 at Urbana University.

Malone (15-5) broke open a two-run game one with an eight-run third inning highlighted by Allen Strouble’s grand slam. Justin Shiflett added a two-run single and Joe Goddard closed the inning with a two-run homer.

Ryan Rua’s (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) three-run home run in the fourth got a few runs back, but the Storm (4-8) trailed 15-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Rua and junior Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) hit solo home runs in the frame as the Storm attempted to mount a comeback. It was the second home run of the game for both players.
Lake Erie scored six times in the bottom of the seventh to close within three runs and had the tying run at the plate with two outs but Bryan Bayer got sophomore Mike Morgan (Indian Lake, Ohio/Russells Point) to ground out to end it.
Rua finished the game four-for-five with five runs batted in while James drove in three runs and scored three times.
In game two, Rua and junior captain Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning as Lake Erie took a 6-5 lead early. But again, a big inning by Malone did in the Storm.
The Pioneers put up their second eight-run inning of the day in the fourth inning, with Goddard and Kyle Sprague each homering, to take command 13-6.
The Storm again made a game of it late, scoring three times in the fifth and James delivered a two-run bomb in the sixth to get LEC within a pair. But after a inning-opening single by freshman Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge), Jared Messer retired the final three hitters to close the game.
James went three-for-four with two RBI, giving him seven runs batted in and six runs scored in the doubleheader. He and Rua each finished with thre home runs on the day. Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) also had three hits in game two.
After the big fourth by Malone, Rua took the mound and fired two scoreless innings to allow the Storm to attempt the comeback. 
More information on these games to follow.
The Storm (4-8) will play host Urbana in a doubleheader on Sunday.