Long Ball Lifts Oilers in Sweep at Lake Erie

Photo: Daye Harter
Photo: Daye Harter

Painesville, OH – Last season, the Oilers did not pick up their 14th win of the season until April 30th. This season, however, it happened on Monday, March 27 after a double-header sweep of the Lake Erie Storm that gave Findlay a 14-4 record overall and a 5-3 mark in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.

Game 1 | W 8-3 (Box Score)

Lake Erie cracked the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the first inning and then added on with two runs in the third to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

As they have done all year, the Oilers answered. Findlay, which did not have a baserunner through the first three innings, got a one-out walk to senior Logan Harrah who then advanced to second on a failed pick-off attempt. After a strikeout, junior Pete Burkett roped a two-out single down the right field line to put the Oilers on the board.

In the fifth, junior Troy Merriman led off with a single and advanced to third on a double from junior Josh Schwerer. After a fly out, a double off the bat of sophomore Derrick Herd would plate Merriman and Schwerer to tie the game at 3-3 and force the Storm to reach into their bullpen. Harrah then singled, scoring Herd, and stole second. Senior Peter Yorgen stepped up got his first hit of the day, a two-run home run to center field to cap the Oilers five run inning and give his team a 6-3 lead.

Single runs in the sixth and seventh inning for Findlay would put the contest away.

In the game, Findlay finished with eight runs on 13 hits, made one error, and left five runners on base. The Storm scored their three runs on nine hits, made two errors, and left ten runners on base.

The Oilers were led at the plate by Herd, junior Cameron Johnson, and Schwerer who each had two hits. Herd had a team-high three RBI while Schwerer, along with Harrah and Yorgen, scored two runs.

Sophomore Mark Delas got his first win of the season as he pitched six innings and allowed three runs on nine hits. Delas struck out nine and walked just one.

Game 2 | W 7-6 (Box Score)

The Oilers and the Storm traded zeros in the first two innings of action in the second contest of the day, but opposite of what happened in Game 1, it was Findlay who would crack the scoreboard first.

Senior Miguel Valdez smoked a two-out double down the right field line and was followed by a double off the bat of Logan Harrah that gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead. A walk to Derrick Herd brought Peter Yorgen to the plate. Yorgen extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a three-run blast to right field, his second home run of the day, to give the Orange and Black a daunting 4-0 lead.

The Storm were seemingly unfazed as they would pick up at least one hit in each inning for the remainder of the game. A run in the sixth for Lake Erie would cut the Oilers lead to 4-1 but the big damage came in the seventh inning when Lake Erie exploded for five runs on five hits.

Findlay and Lake Erie each had a hit, but no more in the eighth inning of play and, down two runs after giving up six unanswered, the Oilers were on the brink of a disappointing loss.

The final inning began with a single from Josh Schwerer and, after a fly out, another single from Logan Harrah. With one out, Derrick Herd, who would finish the double-header with five hits, hit a blast to right field that cleared the fence for his first career home run. The long ball gave the Oilers a 7-6 lead, one that senior closer AJ Cecil would protect in the bottom half of the inning to give Findlay their 14th win of the year.

Findlay ended the game with seven runs on 13 hits, no errors and seven runners left on base while the Storm had six runs on 15 hits, made no errors and also left seven on base.

Herd led the Oilers at the plate and would finish the day 5-of-7 with six RBI and three runs scored while Peter Yorgen picked up two home runs, five RBI, and two runs scored on the day. In Game 2, Logan Harrah, junior Pete Burkett, and Miguel Valdez each picked up two hits apiece.

Sophomore Tyler Kennedy earned the start on the mound and pitched 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on ten hits. He walked three and struck out ten.

Picking up his GLIAC leading fifth win of the year was AJ Cecil who pitched the eighth and ninth innings without allowing a run. He gave up one hit and did not record a walk or strikeout.

Findlay will be back home for a game against Urbana on Wednesday, March 29 at 4:00 pm.