Storm Drops Pair to Gannon Despite Rua's Four Hits

Storm Drops Pair to Gannon Despite Rua's Four Hits
PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie Storm baseball team could not solve Gannon's stellar pitching in a doubleheader sweep on Saturday (April 17) afternoon at frigid Braggs Field. The Storm lost both games by identical 7-2 scores.
Shortstop Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) was the lone bright spot for Lake Erie going 4-for-5 in the twinbill. He went 5-for-5 at Tiffin on Thursday and extended that string to nine straight hits after getting a hit in his first four plate appearances on Saturday.
Outside of Rua, the Storm (12-23) managed just three hits in the opener off Gannon starter Greg Radwan, who was in control for the entire game. He didn't allow a Storm runner past first base until the seventh inning when Rua singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. He came around to score on an RBI double by Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). Lovick advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Matt Lott's (Newark, Ohio/Newark Catholic) groundout.
Gannon (20-17) was well ahead at that point, as Michael Tomko tripled home Tim Lipp in the first inning to make it 1-0 off Lake Erie starter Adam Beach (Vermilion, Ohio/Vermilion). The Golden Knights tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the second inning with the help of two Lake Erie defensive miscues.
Gannon put the game away in the fourth, scoring four times on five hits, including a solo home run by Jeff Jones.
Radwan earned the win for the Knights, tossing a complete game and allowing just two runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Beach (4-1), who suffered his first loss of the season, surrendered seven runs (five earned) in six innings of work. He struck out eight and walked just one. Jimmie Shaw (Holland, Ohio/Toledo St. John) worked a perfect seventh inning of relief.
Gannon's game two starter, Brian Gunnell, completely shut down the Storm after the first inning, in which the Storm took a 2-0 lead. Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) singled with one out and Rua followed with a two-run blast to left for his ninth straight hit and ninth home run of the season. The sophomore raised his average to a team-leading .434.
Gunnell settled down after the home run, retiring the next 13 batters he saw and not allowing a hit the rest of the way. Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) reached on a throwing error by the third baseman in the fifth and Rua drew a two-out walk in the sixth, but Gunnell escaped both innings unscathed. He struck out four in the game and walked just one.
Lake Erie starter Tyler Minnich (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) worked five innings and allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits. He struck out one and walked a pair. Shaw and Pat Mulligan (Brookfield, Ohio/Brookfield) each tossed a perfect relief inning.
The Storm has a chance to quickly rebound as Gannon visits Braggs Field for a second doubleheader on Sunday (April 18) afternoon beginning at 12 p.m.