PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College baseball team opens the 2013 season with a three-game series at the University of Southern Indiana this weekend, Feb. 22-24, at the USI Baseball Field in Evansville, Ind. The first pitch of the season will be thrown at 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. EST) on Friday, while Saturday and Sunday's games will start at 1 p.m. and noon, local time, respectively.
This is the second straight season the Storm has opened the year at Southern Indiana. The Screaming Eagles won all three games last year en route to finishing the season with a 26-24 record.
Lake Erie is coming off a record-setting season in which the Storm won a school-best 27 games and posted a 27-26 overall record. The team went 22-14 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, advancing to the GLIAC Tournament for the first time.
After finishing last year with the second highest amount of conference victories, the Storm was picked to finish fifth in the GLIAC Preseason Coaches' Poll released earlier this week.
A victory in the opening series would also be the milestone 100th win for sixth-year head coach Brian McGee. In his first five seasons with the program, McGee has led the team to a 99-143 record with 49 of those victories coming in the last two years.
Seventeen letter-winners return for the Storm in 2013. Offensively, fourth-year starting 3B Cody Blood (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) and DH/1B Patrick Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) will provide a veteran presence in the lineup. Both were All-GLIAC selections a year ago. The Storm offense will need production from its strong group of newcomers, especially early in the absence of injured starters Aaron Lindgren (Willoughby, Ohio/South) and Sean Mathews (Washington, Mich./Warren De La Salle).
On the mound, the Storm return a deep and talented staff headlined by three All-GLIAC hurlers in junior Brian Kilway (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) and seniors Adam Beach (Vermillion, Ohio/Vermillion) and Doug Fox (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge). Senior Logan Nordquist (Alliance, Ohio/Alliance) and junior Brad Raley (Hinckley, Ohio/Highland) round out the rotation while sophomore Heath Kelley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) leads the bullpen.