MASSILION, Ohio – The Lake Erie College baseball team opened the final series of the regular season on Saturday (May 5) against the Malone University Pioneers at Jackson High School.
Malone used a late big inning to win the opener 11-6 and the Storm returned the favor in game two with a seven-run third inning, taking the nightcap 14-3.
Lake Erie took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run homerun by Trace Peterson (Medina, Ohio / Medina). Malone cut the lead to one with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Rees Rua (Amherst, Ohio / Amherst Steele) opened the second inning with a solo homerun to left center field as the Storm regained a 3-1 advantage. One inning later, Lake Erie added two runs off of the bat of Wes Birchmeier (Miamisburg, Ohio / Miamisburg). After Peterson singled, Birchmeier plated two runs with a homerun to left center field. Lake Erie led 5-1 after three innings. Nathan Erzen (Brookpark, Ohio / Berea-Midpark) doubled in the fourth inning and came around to score on a RBI single by Caleb Waller (Vermilion, Ohio / Vermilion), as the Storm led 6-1. Malone scored three runs in the fourth, two in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the eighth. The Pioneers won game one 11-6.
Peterson went three-of-four in the opener with two runs scored and two runs driven in. Erzen had two hits in game one.
Malone jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Lake Erie plated seven runs in the third inning, taking a 7-1 lead. With the bases loaded on three singles, Rua and Birchmeier were each hit by a pitch, scoring two runs. Nigel Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle) plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Peterson followed with a RBI single. Ryan Carver (Orange Park, Fla. / Oakleaf) doubled home a run while Erzen had a sacrifice fly and Sam Browning (Cincinnati, Ohio / Archbishop McNicholas) capped the scoring with a RBI single. Malone scored one run in the bottom of the third inning, slimming the Storm's lead to 7-3. Lake Erie added two runs in the fifth inning on a RBI double by Waller and a RBI sacrifice fly by Corbin Paxton (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview). The Storm capped the scoring at 14-3 with a five-run seventh inning. With the bases loaded, Paxton cleared the bases with a three-run double and then Nathan Birtley (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) tripled home two runs.
The Storm had 14 hits in the game, including three hits games from Waller and Paxton. Paxton had three hits, two runs and four RBI. Browning and Erzen each added two hits.
Evan Layne (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Telecommunications) pitched a seven-inning complete game with three runs allowed on five hits. He scattered five hits, with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
The Storm will conclude the regular season with Senior Day against the Pioneers at Classic Park on Sunday (May 6). The rubber match will begin at 6:00 PM.