The Cincinnati Steam knocked off the Lake Erie Monarchs in another rain-delayed double-header at Western Hills Sunday afternoon.
In the first game, the Steam got on the board in the first inning, scoring two runs. After a pair of singles by Josh Ungerbuehler (Marietta/Roger Bacon) and Matt Williams (Cincinnati/CHCA), designated hitter Justin Glass (Cincinnati) doubled in Ungerbuehler to score the first Steam run of the game. The next batter, Robby Sunderman (Dayton/Moeller), grounded out to the second baseman to drive in Williams and give the Steam a 2-0 lead.
Back to back doubles by Lake Erie tied the game in the top of the fourth and the Monarchs pulled ahead 3-2 in the fifth inning.
The Steam tied the game in sixth inning thanks to a pair of extra base hits and a sacrifice bunt. Sunderman led off the inning with a double to left and moved to third base on well placed bunt by Nick Priessman (Eastern Illinois/Colerain). With the tying run just 90 feet away from home, Bryan Beaver (Miami/Lakota West) stroked a double over the center fielder’s head to score Sunderman.
In the bottom of the seventh inning and the score still tied 3-3, Ungerbuehler led the inning with a walk. Lake Erie head coach Mike Montgomery decided to roll the dice and intentionally walk Selby Chidemo (Xavier/Elder) and Williams to load the bases and create the force play at every base. The strategy worked initally when Glass went down on strikes for the first out of the inning. However, Sunderman came to the plate next and hit a hard ground ball to the third baseman whose throw to the plate appeared to beat the sliding Ungerbuehler but the Lake Erie catcher dropped the ball to give the Steam a 4-3 win.
Game two got underway with the Steam matching the Monarchs run for run in the first three innings, including a solo shot over the left field fence by Glass.
Brian Kirschbaum (Huntington/Cincinnati Christian) came into the game out of the bullpen and pitched a solid 3 2/3 innings of relief. He did run into trouble in the eighth inning giving up a run to tie the score 4-4. Alex Vice came in and retired the only batter he faced to end the Lake Erie rally.
The Steam answered by adding a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Andresen.
David Etscheid (Thomas More/Ryle) entered in the top of the ninth to record his fourth save, ending the game 6-4 after a groundout and back-to-back strikeouts.
LKE 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 - 3 7 2
CIN 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 - 4 8 0
WP –Ryan Martin (3-1)
LP –J. Borque (2-1)
LKE (15-12) – LOB 5 – Curry 1-3, 2B; Miller, 1-3, 2B, R, RBI.
CIN(18-8) – LOB 9 – Beaver 2-2, 2B, RBI; Ungerbuehler 2-3, 2R; Glass 1-4, 2B, RBI; Sunderman 1-4, 2B, RBI.
LKE 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 4 8 0
CIN 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 x - 6 8 2
WP –Alex Vice (2-0)
LP – Frebis (1-2)
Sv – David Etscheid (4)
LKE (15-13) – LOB 7 – Sohn 2-3, 3B, 2R, RBI, SB; Wisneski 2-4, 2B, RBI; Miller 1-4, 2B, RBI; Quiery 1-4, 2B, R.
CIN(19-8) – LOB 5 – Glass 2-3, HR, RBI; Priessman 2-4, R. Andresen 2-4, R, 2RBI; O’Conner 1-3, 3B, RBI.