Lake Erie Sets Record Wins Mark With Split At Ashland

Matt Toth (Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko)
Matt Toth (Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko)

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College (22-18, 18-8 GLIAC) set a new school record with its 22nd win, earning a split in a key Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Ashland University (24-18, 16-12 GLIAC) in Ashland, Ohio

Ashland took game one, 5-1, but Lake Erie jumped all over the home squad in the nightcap en route to a 9-0 victory.

The Storm surpassed the mark set during their 21-win season in 2011.

Lake Erie scored a solo run in the top of the first of game two when senior outfielder Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) doubled and was brought in by a single to center from senior second baseman Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/John I. Leonard (Fla.)/Lakeland CC).  The Storm put another  run on the board in the second as freshman Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/Willoughby South) led off with a triple and was driven home on a sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut). 

In the third inning, Lake Erie broke the game wide open putting up five runs for the 7-0 advantage and knocking Ashland's Aaron Hilt from the contest.  The inning started off with small ball as sophomore Reid Rizzo (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) was hit with a pitch and Toth reached on a bunt single.  The runners advanced on a double steal and junior Pat Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) drove in Rizzo with a double.  Senior first baseman Jee Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) reached to load the bases and Lindgren came through with a single to center which cleared the bases after a throwing error on the play.  Blood singled in Lindgren to cap the rally.

The big inning proved to be plenty of run support for freshman Russ Hogue (Belle Center, Ohio/Indian Lake) who bounced back from a tough start in his first meeting with the Eagles this year to throw a complete-game shutout. Houge (1-2) scattered eight hits but only walked one batter to earn his first college win.

Lake Erie added a pair of unearned runs in the sixth for the final 9-0 margin as Toth and Cacique both singled in runs.

Toth went 4-for-4 in game two, with three runs scored and an RBI.  He went 6-for-7 between the two games.  Lindgren and Cacique each had a pair of hits and two RBIs in the nightcap.

Game one was scoreless through two and a half innings, as an Ashland single in the first was the only base runner for either side.  In the bottom of the third, the Eagles got to junior Jimmie Shaw (Holland, Ohio/Toledo St. John) for two runs after a single and walk started off the inning. 

A one-out double in the fourth by Toth accounted for Lake Erie's first base runner and he was brought in on a two-out single to left by Kilway.

Ashland responded back with an unearned run in the bottom of the frame a 3-1 advantage after four innings and opened things up in the fifth inning off the Lake Erie bullpen on a two-run homer by Waide Kaido. 

Toth and Kilway threatened to rally again in the sixth as Toth reached on a bunt single and Kilway reached on a two-out error but Ashland's Zach Botjer worked out of the jam.  Lake Erie got a scoreless inning from junior reliever Tyler Minnich (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) in the sixth but were unable plate any runs after getting two on in the seventh.

Shaw (0-1) suffered the loss allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and walk while striking out a pair.

Lake Erie returns home for a six-game stretch of GLIAC contests starting Saturday vs. GLIAC contender Saginaw Valley State University at Braggs Field in a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.

-LEC-