Storm Toppled at Tiffin, Hosts Gannon This Weekend

Storm Toppled at Tiffin, Hosts Gannon This Weekend
PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College baseball team took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and two-run homer by Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) but from that point on host Tiffin University was in control and sent the visiting Storm to its third straight loss Thursday afternoon at Heminger Field in Tiffin.
Rua finished with a career-high five hits in five at-bats and drove in three runs for the Storm (12-21), but the Dragons 15-24) offense broke out for 22 hits in a 23-5 final.
 Sophomore Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) singled to lead off the game and came around when the next batter James doubled. Both Toth and James finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Rua, the game's third batter, connected for his team-leading ninth homer and the Storm appeared off and running.
But the Dragons answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first and then three more in the second. The game was still in reach, at 8-3, heading into the fifth but Tiffin scored five runs in that inning, six in the sixth and four more in the seventh. 
Jordan Chiero led the onslaught by driving in nine runs, including a three-run first-inning double and a three-run home run in the seventh. He had four hits on the day, matching the total of teammate Bobby Mullin.
Tiffin hurler D.J. Hickle settled down after the opening and held the Storm in check for the next five innings. The Storm scored two runs in the seventh on singles by freshman Justin Rebhun (Rensselaer, N.Y./Coumbia) and Rua, who later threw a scoreless frame in the eight.
Freshman Trent Vallinger (Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary) allowed eight runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss. The Storm bullpen took some lumps as well, as four of the six relievers Lake Erie used allowed at least one run. 
The Storm will look to snap its losing streak on Saturday, April 17, when it opens a four-game series with Gannon University at Braggs Field at Kiwanis Recreation Park.