November 15, 2013
Former Baseball Standout Mike Morgan Signs Pro Contract
PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Former Storm pitcher Mike Morgan will be taking his talents "down under" this winter. Morgan, who appeared in 25 games for Lake Erie from 2009-12, has signed a professional contract with the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League.
The veteran of four seasons at LEC actually began play in the six-team circuit in early November; the ABL plays its 46-game schedule from November-February.
"I am very happy for Mike," said Lake Erie Head Coach Brian McGee. "He has always carried a great passion for the game and a confidence in his ability."
Morgan batted .270 (65-of-241) with 16 doubles, three home runs and 34 RBIs in three seasons (2009-11) as a Storm position player. He also made 25 relief appearances (2010-12) for Lake Erie. It is that role – as a pitcher – that Morgan expects to garner playing time with the Cavalry this winter.
"My experience so far has been pretty cool," said Morgan. "I still can't believe that I am getting paid to play the game I love so much."
That love of the game – and a few talented crops of Storm players the last few years -- has lead to several former LEC athletes of recent vintage getting looks at the professional level. Chief among them is Ryan Rua, who is Lake Erie's career record-holder in home runs (27), slugging percentage (.651), runs batted in (131) and total bases (306). Rua played for the Storm from 2009-11 and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft (becoming the program's first draftee). In three seasons (2011-13) Rua rocketed his way from rookie-league ball to Double-A, and last season ranked ninth in all of Minor League Baseball with 32 home runs.
Lake Erie's Storm-turned pros also include the likes of Adam Beach (Frontier League in 2012) and Logan Nordquist (ABL in 2012-13). Both were 2012 LEC graduates.
"I have only had two of my own recruiting classes graduate," said McGee. "To see this many guys playing pro baseball and/or coaching at various levels not only says a great deal for the type of program we have, but it also means the world to me personally."