Monarchs Finish Home Slate With a High Grade, 5-4
Date: Jul 29, 2018
NEWARK, OH: The only encounter of the 2018 season between the Lake Erie Monarchs and the Licking County Settlers featured a 90-minute rain delay, 14 innings of baseball, and a lot of walks. In the end, each team was able to grab a win as the Settlers won game one, 6-2, and the Monarchs won the night cap, 9-5.
Monarchs starter Layne Schnitz-Paxton and Settlers starter Luke Torbert got off to a quick start, turning in 1-2-3 innings. Then the rain came, delaying the contest and forcing Licking County to go to a new pitcher after the stoppage. Lake Erie stuck with Schnitz-Paxton (0-1) though, and he would surrender five runs while notching four K’s in 4 and 1/3 stanzas.
The Monarchs had the first three men of the 2nd inning reach base, allowing Sean O’Keefe to score on a double play ball hit into by Bobby Head that put them in front, 1-0. Lake Erie’s other run would come on a solo homer by Robert Bell in the sixth inning.
After not scoring in the 1st, the Settlers would score runs in four of the next five innings. Garett Roberts blasted a long ball in the 2nd to tie the game at 1. A 3-run 3rd frame put Licking County in the lead 4-1, highlighted by back-to-back RBI knocks by Dylan Ott and Miguel Pimentel. A SAC Fly off the bat of Casimir Sobaszek in the 5th and another run scoring single from Ott in the 6th rounded out the scoring.
Settlers reliever Max Schreiber (1-0) was masterful after Torbert’s start was burned, tossing 4 and 2/3 innings, permitting two runs, five hits, three walks, and fanning two Monarchs.
Patience at the plate was key for the Monarchs in the second game of the night. Licking County pitchers issued out ten free passes and five wild pitches, many of which Lake Erie was able to capitalize on.
In the 2nd, Jake Goodreau walked and Bobby Head was hit by a pitch to set the stage for Keegan Watson. He brought in Goodreau with an RBI single. Head would come across later in the inning on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Monarchs.
Lake Erie would put three tallies on the board in the 3rd despite having just one hit. Jordan Nwogu scored on a wild pitch during Goodreau’s plate appearance. Caleb Balgaard came across on a wild pitch while Casey Slattery was up. Watson walked with the bases loaded to force in Goodreau.
The Monarchs 5-0 lead was threatened in the bottom half of the inning. A run-producing grounder by Turner Hill and an RBI double by Ott cut the lead to three. Two more runs came in when an innocent fly ball off the bat of Garett Roberts fell in center field, making it a 5-4 ballgame.
However, the Monarchs were resilient and immediately answered with three runs to build a comfortable lead once again. Slattery coaxed a walk with the sacks full to plate Zach Schwartzenberger. Head would follow this up with a huge two-run double to the corner in right, elevating the lead to 8-4.
In three innings on the mound, Jonathan Fincher was fantastic, fanning six and giving up just two hits while shutting out the Settlers. He pitched in relief of Dillon McInerney who removed in the 4th. Dillon yielded five runs (three earned) and a walk with two punchouts. Nathan Haugh worked a scoreless 7th.
The Monarchs get ready for their home opener against the Cincinnati Steam on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.
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