FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Lake Erie College Storm baseball team split a doubleheader with Kentucky State on Sunday (Feb. 19) as the Storm won three of four games in the series.
Lake Erie fell in game one 9-3 to Kentucky State.
The Storm opened the game with three runs in the top of the first inning. Designated hitter Sam Browning (Cincinnati, Ohio / Archbishop McNicholas) doubled with one out in the inning. Two batters later, third baseman Wes Birchmeier (Miamisburg, Ohio / Miamisburg) hit a two-run homerun to left field. Birchmeier had homeruns in back-to-back games. Shortstop Ryan Carver (Orange Park, Fla. / Oakleaf) followed with a walk. Carver stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error. Catcher Nathan Erzen (Brookpark, Ohio / Berea-Midpark) walked and stole second. Carver scored on a throwing error during Erzen's steal attempt.
Kentucky State scored single runs in each of the first three innings as the game was tied. The Thorobreds scored six runs in the fifth inning for a 9-3 win in the opening game of the day.
Birchmeier went three-for-three in the first game with two RBI and a run scored. Browning had the other Storm hit as he also pitched 1.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run.
A big second inning set the tone for the Storm as they scored 12 runs in a 12-9 win over the Thorobreds in the nightcap.
Kentucky State jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning but Lake Erie responded with six runs in the second. The Storm used three hits, two errors and four walks to take a 6-1 lead. The biggest blows were a two-run single by Browning and a two-run double by Birchmeier.
The Thorobreds scored a run in the bottom of the second. Lake Erie added two runs in the third on a passed ball and an error. The Storm led 8-2 after three innings.
In the fourth inning, right fielder Jacob Armstrong (Clarkston, Mich. / Clarkston) plated two runs on a fielding error and center fielder Rees Rua (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) brought in a run with a RBI single, making it 11-2
Kentucky State scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and one in the bottom of the fifth.
The Storm made it 12-5 with a RBI fielder's choice by Browning in the sixth inning.
The Thorobreds added one run in the sixth and three in the seventh but the Storm won the final game of the series 12-9.
Rua and Birchmeier each had two hits in the game. Browning and Birchmeier accounted for three RBI each while Rua and Armstrong each drove in two runs.
Connor Ryan (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) allowed two runs in three innings as the starter.
The Storm will travel to Pembroke, North Carolina next weekend for a series with UNC Pembroke.