PEMBROKE, N.C. – The Lake Erie College baseball team concluded a three game series with #11 University of North Carolina Pembroke on Sunday (Feb. 26). The Storm fell to the Braves by a final score of 7-6.
Storm head coach Cameron Castro spoke after the game about the intensity the Storm brought to the series finale. "I'm very proud of the way we played today. We bounced back tremendously after that second game last night. They fought until the final out and that's all I can ask from them."
The Storm jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Center fielder Rees Rua (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) and designated hitter Sam Browning (Cincinnati, Ohio / Archbishop McNicholas) opened the game with back-to-back singles. After a groundout, left fielder Wes Birchmeier (Miamisburg, Ohio / Miamisburg) singled home Rua and Browning with a two-run single.
The Braves scored one run in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth to open a 5-2 lead.
Lake Erie scored three runs in the fifth to tie the game at five. After a single by right fielder Jacob Armstrong (Clarkston, Mich. / Clarkston) and second baseman Austin Bovenzi (Fairport, N.Y. / McQuaid Jesuit)was hit by a pitch, both runners were moved over by a sacrifice bunt. Browning was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Both runners scored on a fielding error by UNC Pembroke off of the bat by catcher Nigel Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle). Birchmeier followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Browning.
UNC Pembroke broke the tie with a run in the fifth inning and added a run in the eighth inning.
The Storm attempted a ninth-inning comeback as they trailed 7-5. Bovenzi opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Rua singled, moving Bovenzi to third base. With runners on the corners, Browning grounded into a double play but Bovenzi scored. The Storm fell 7-6.
Rua and Browning each had two hits each. Browning and Bovenzi each accounted for two runs each. Birchmeier finished with three RBI for the game.
Brian Bullock (Loveland, Ohio / Loveland) allowed two runs in four innings of relief work with four strikeouts.
"If we bring the same focus and attention to detail that we did today, we'll be just fine tomorrow."
The Storm will travel to Mount Olive for a single game on Monday (Feb. 27) at 3:00 PM.