EVANSVILLE, IND. – After being handcuffed the in two games the previous day, the Lake Erie College baseball team banged out 10 hits and put five runs on the board Sunday (Feb. 26), but a five-run fourth inning proved to be the different as the 28th-ranked University of Southern Indiana closed out the weekend with a 10-5 win at the USI Baseball Field.
Senior Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) singled and scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning but the Eagles (4-2) answered back with two unearned runs of their own in the bottom half. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Reid Rizzo (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) tied it in the second and senior Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) drove in a run in the third to give Lake Erie (0-3) a 3-2 lead.
Brent Weinzapfel singled in a run to tie the game in the bottom of the third, then the Eagles broke it open with a four-run third, the big blow a bases-clearing double by Ryan Kaczmarski.
It was a 9-3 game in the sixth when the Storm scored twice to cut the margin to four. Rizzo singled in a run and then scored on Toth's double to chase starter Ben Wright. But reliever Ben Lady came on and got a lineout to end the threat.
Toth had three hits to lead the Lake Erie offensive attack. Classmates Brayan Cacique (Caracas, Venezuela/John I. Leonard/Lakeland C.C.) and Kyle Kemp (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe) each went 2-for-4 in the game. Each player at a double in the game.
Kaczmarski had two hits and scored four times for USI. Wright (2-1) allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to earn the win.
Senior starter Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) took the loss in his season debut, allowing three earned runs (six total) on four hits and four walks in three innings.
The Storm is idle until it kicks off its Spring Break trip March 10 with a doubleheader at nationally-ranked Northern Kentucky University.