PAINESVILLE, Ohio- The Lake Erie College baseball team dropped the second half of a weekend series at home against the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals on Sunday (April 2) afternoon.
The Storm fell in game one, 7-6 and fell 13-7 in game two.
"We've played a couple great game one's all year long but just haven't been able to be consistent enough to sustain it for the duration of a series," said Storm head coach Cameron Castro. "But I think we're close. We're plenty capable of putting a couple games together and getting the monkey off of our back. We just didn't miss a ton of bats today, but we did have some chances late offensively and rallied a bit. Just not enough."
Saginaw Valley scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals added one more run in the second inning, going up 4-0.
In the second inning, Rees Rua (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. Nathan Erzen (Brookpark, Ohio / Berea-Midpark) doubled to deep center field for a RBI double. Lake Erie cut the lead to 4-1.
Lake Erie got a run across in the third inning as Wes Birchmeier (Miamisburg, Ohio / Miamisburg) led off with a double. Birchmeier came around to score on a Saginaw Valley error.
The Cardinals responded with a run in the fifth inning to open a three run advantage.
Birchmeier went deep in the fifth inning with a solo blast to left field, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
Saginaw Valley scratched a run in the top of the sixth inning before the Storm tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Caleb Waller (Vermilion, Ohio / Vermilion) singled and Nigel Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle) followed with a double. Zavin Orr (Cambridge, Ohio / Cambridge) brought home both runners with a two-run single. The Storm loaded the bases with a double and a hit by pitch. A double play ball brought home the tying run at six.
The Cardinals regained the 7-6 lead with a squeeze bunt in the seventh inning. The Storm fell 7-6 in the opener.
Birchmeier finished 3-for-3 in the game, including two runs scored. Orr added two hits for the Storm.
Sam Browning (Cincinnati, Ohio / Archbishop McNicholas) put the Storm up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with a solo homerun.
The Cardinals scored four runs in the second, three in the third and one in the fifth for an 8-1 lead.
Lake Erie scored two runs in the fifth inning. Rua lined a one-out single and scored on a Browning RBI double. Birchmeier singled home Rua as the Storm cut the deficit to 8-3.
Saginaw Valley scored in the top of the seventh before Lake Erie rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Birchmeier went deep with a two-run homerun and the third run scored on a RBI groundout. Lake Erie trailed 9-6 after seven.
The Cardinals added four runs in the top of the ninth for a 13-6 lead.
Ryan Carver (Orange Park, Fla. / Oakleaf) doubled home the Storm's final run in the bottom of the ninth as the Storm fell 13-7.
The Storm had three players finish with three hits in the game. Browning, Birchmeier, and Rua all had three hits while Austin Bovenzi (Fairport, N.Y. / McQuaid Jesuit) added two hits.
Chris Mutter (Cleves, Ohio / Taylor) gave up two runs in four innings in a relief role. Aaron Kucia (Brunswick, Ohio / Cuyahoga Heights) threw a scoreless inning.
"This team is young, but has showed they'll battle back. We will get there."
The Storm will travel to the University of Charleston for a non-conference matchup on Wednesday (April 5).