Beach's Arm, Cacique's Clutch Hit Lead Storm to 1-0 Win at GV in GLIAC Opener, Lakes Take Game 2 for Split

Adam Beach (Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko)
Adam Beach (Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko)

ALLENDALE, MICH. – Junior RHP Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion) outdueled All-American Kyle Schepel and senior Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/John I. Leonard/Lakeland C.C.) drove in the only run in a 1-0 victory for the Lake Erie College baseball team at 10th-ranked Grand Valley State University Saturday afternoon (March 24).

The Storm (4-9, 1-1 GLIAC) could not complete the sweep, however, falling 11-1 in the nightcap after the home team scored nine times in the final two innings. 

But the story of the opener was Beach (2-2), who threw his first career complete game to earn his second straight win.  He scattered five hits – four singles and a double – and walked just a pair of walks in his seven innings while striking out five. 

The Lakers (11-5, 1-1 GLIAC) had two runners on base in both the sixth and seventh innings, including on second and third in the last inning, but Beach, who has gone 14 straight innings over his last two starts without allowing a run, got out of the jam each time.

Shepel (4-1), who was attempting to become Grand Valley's career leader in wins, was just as good through the first six innings.  He allowed four hits and walked around five walks with six strikeouts.  But in the final frame, he gave up a pinch-hit single to freshman Aaron Lindgren (Willioughby, Ohio/South) before giving way to reliever Brad Zambron.

After a pair of ground balls moved Lindgren to third, Cacique drilled a single to center for the only run.  It was Cacique's second hit of the game.   

The win was the first for the Storm against a nationally-ranked Division II team.  Lake Erie had been 0-12 in such games, including a 0-5 mark this season. 

In game two, junior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) held Grand valley to just two runs through the first four innings, but the Lakers got to the Storm bullpen in the fifth, scoring four times to take a 6-0 lead.  The big blow in the frame was a two-run, two-out double by Derrik Strzalkowski.

Nordquist (0-2) allowed just the two runs on six hits in four innings. He did not walk a batter and breezed through the first three innings until Steven Claypool homered down the right field line to end the Lakers' 10-inning drought on the day. 

The Storm got one run in the sixth, with Cacique again driving in a run with a triple to the gap in right center. But that was all the Storm could get off Ryan Gaman (2-2), who allowed just the run on three hits and a walk in six innings.  He struck out four.

The Lakers put things to rest with a five-run sixth, aided by two Lake Erie errors.

No one had more than one hit for Lake Erie in game two.  Steve Anderson had three hits while three other Lakers, including Claypool, had two hits apiece. 

The two teams will close out their four-game series on Sunday, March 25, with a doubleheader at the GVSU Baseball Field beginning at noon.

-LEC-