Lake Erie Has Four-Game Series Against GLIAC Opponents

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (March 15, 2009) - Lake Erie College played a four-game series at Veteran's Memorial Field, taking on Findlay and Grand Valley State twice each. The Storm lost to Findlay, 9-3 and 17-10 and lost to Grand Valley State, 15-4 and 6-0. Both are members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) which Lake Erie was recently invited to file membership with and could be accepted to join for the 20010-11 academic year.

In game one against Findlay, Lake Erie took a 3-0 lead after its first two at bats after totaling three hits. The first run came on a solo shot from sophomore catcher Nick Lovick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) in the top of the first. The other two runs came in the second after a leadoff single by senior right fielder John Shaposka (Mentor, Ohio/Cornerstone Christian) followed by another single by freshman third baseman Michael Morgan (Russells Point, Ohio/Indian Lake). A balk allowed both runners to advance and then an error allowed freshman second baseman Matt Vanni (Willowick, Ohio/Benedictine) to reach base safely with a run scoring. A ground out then plated the third and final run of the game for the Storm who got seven more hits in the remaining innings. Findlay tied the score at three in the bottom of the third before going on to record a three-run fifth inning with three more runs to follow. Each team had three errors for the game. Of the Storm's 10 total hits, Shaposka was the only hitter with multiple shots, finishing 2-for-3 with one run.

In game two, Lake Erie took on Grand Valley State, who heading into the contest , was 13-2 on the season. After GVSU got on the board in the top of the second, the Storm tied the score in the bottom half of the inning after a leadoff double by senior designated hitter Ben Reed (Middlefield, Ohio/Cardinal), a walk for freshman  first baseman Jae Leeworthy (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) and an RBI single by senior third baseman Ben Willis (Akron, Ohio/Coventry). Grand Valley went ahead by two in the top of the third and remained ahead the rest of the way. A seven-run sixth inning and a two-run seventh for the Lakers put the Storm behind by 11. Lake Erie didn't give up however, posting three runs in the eighth on four hits - all singles - by freshman Kyle Kemp (Spotsylvania, Va./James Monroe), senior Harry Konrad (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), Leeworthy and Willis. The team recorded seven hits in the game with Willis going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Day two action began against Grand Valley State. Heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the game was scoreless with Storm freshman Michael Backes (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) giving up only one hit thus far. The Lakers broke things open in their turn at bat in the fourth, plating one run, followed by another in the fifth. They added three more in the seventh and a final run in the eighth. Backes went four and a third innings, giving up just two earned runs. The Storm totaled four hits.

In Lake Erie's final game of the weekend against Findlay, the Storm recorded 17 hits and 10 RBIs - both game highs this season. The team's 10 runs also tied a game high so far this year. Findlay scored two runs in the top of the first before Lake Erie scored one run in the bottom of the inning after a double by freshman shortstop Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) and an RBI single by sophomore left fielder Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor).  Lake Erie then evened things up in the third when leadoff hitter Patrick Stantial (West Farmington, Ohio/Southington) reached on an error, advancing to second. He then advanced to third on a fly out before scoring on a ground-out by Reed.

The score remained tied at two until the top of the seventh when the Oilers strung together 11 runs on nine hits then managed four more runs in the final two innings. The Storm scored a combined eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings on nine hits, including a three-run home run by Reed. Six Storm players had multiple hits in the game, with a team-leading three hits by Morgan (3-for-5). Stantial, Rua, Reed, James and freshman Matt Lott (Newark, Ohio/Newark Catholic) had two hits apiece. Reed finished the game with six RBIs.

For the four-game weekend, Willis hit .600 (3-for-5) in three games with one walk and an RBI. Lott hit .500 (3-for-6) with two runs and an RBI and Konrad also hit .500 (3-for-6) with a double and one RBI. Morgan checked in at .400 in three games, going 4-for-10 with a double and a run.

On the mound, 15 players made appearances with freshman Kyle Koberna (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Elyria Catholic) recording an ERA of 0.00 in two innings of work in which he struck out one. Junior Vince Hug (Eastlake, Ohio/North) went two and a third innings with only one earned run for an ERA of 3.86 and Backes went four and a third innings with just two earned runs for an ERA of 4.15. Senior Paul Roskos (Timberlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) had a staff-leading four strikeouts in six and one third innings.

Lake Erie (1-11) is at Seton Hill on Wednesday. The Storm plays Indiana (Pa.) at 1 p.m. then host Seton Hill at 3:30 p.m.