PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Following the most successful season in program history, the Lake Erie College baseball team placed five players on the 2011 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Team, including a pair of first-team selections. The all-star squad, picked by the league coaches, was announced on Thursday night (May 12).
Senior outfielder Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and junior shortstop Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele), both all-region selections a year ago, were named to the All-GLIAC First Team while junior outfielder Matt Toth (Lorain, Ohio/Admiral King) was a second-team selection. The trio represented three of the four players in the conference to bat .400 or better this season.
James led the conference in hitting with a .414 average and was second to teammate Rua with 65 hits. The four-year letterwinner and two-sport standout capped his baseball career as the school's leader in 14 different statistical categories. He played in all 47 games, making 46 starts in left field, hit 10 doubles and two home runs while driving in 31 runs and scoring 32 times. He also swiped nine bases and was sixth in the league in total bases.
A finalist for the league's Player of the Year award, Rua started all 47 games and batted an even .400 with an LEC single-season record and GLIAC-leading 68 hits in 170 at bats. He led the league in doubles with 16 and total bases with 101 while ranking second in home runs (five) and stolen bases (19) and third in RBI (44) and runs scored (42). Baseball America's fourth-ranked draftable Division II prospect heading into the season, Rua also pitched in six games going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA and two saves while striking out nine in just 5 2/3 innings.
In addition to setting the school record with 25 walks this year, Toth also batted .400 which tied Rua for third in the GLIAC. He was 62-of-155 at the plate with 41 runs scored, a home run and 21 runs batted in. The Storm's leadoff hitter also banged out 13 doubles and stole 13 bases while committing just one error in right field along with five outfield assists. Toth led the team in on-base percentage and did not hit into a double play all season.
Leeworthy appeared in 46 games and started 45 as the team;s first baseman. He batted .284 for the year but was third on the team with four home runs and also drove in 20 runs and scored 23. On defense, he committed just five errors in 303 chances and also stole five bases in six chances.
The left-handed Fox appeared in a team-high 16 games out of the bullpen for the Storm and had a 1-2 record with an impressive 2.55 ERA which was lowest among all LEC relievers. He struck out 16 and walked just nine in 17 2/3 innings and held opponents to just a .224 average.
Lake Erie finished with a 21-26 overall record and was 14-20 in the GLIAC. The Storm finished sixth in the league and was in contention for a playoff spot until the next-to-last day of the season.