OWENSBORO, Ky- The Lake Erie Storm baseball team split with the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers in a four-game series. With the split, the Storm remains at a .500 win percentage with an overeall record of 7-7 and a G-MAC record of 2-2, while Kentucky Wesleyan improves to 7-11 on the year and 2-2 in the conference.
The Storm played their first game on Sunday, Mar. 17, and won with a final score of 8-6. That recap can be found here. The second game of the double-header was called due to darkness, and resumed play on Monday, Mar. 18. Here's what happened:
In the top of the first, Rees Rua led off the game with a single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Trace Peterson hit an RBI single to drive in Rua. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for the Storm, and although he was out on the play, Anthony Jackson was able to get a run home, allowing the Storm to strike first with a two run advantage. Kentucky Wesleyan came back in the bottom of the second, scoring four runs on two hits, aided by one Storm defensive blunder, and the Panthers took a 4-2 lead.
Joshua Brobst led off with a walk for the Storm in the top of the fifth inning. Corbin Paxton hit an RBI double down the left field line, putting the Storm within one of the Panthers. Nigel Williams then hit an RBI single to tie. After a Panther pitching change, Caleb Waller smacked a single to center field, scoring Williams and giving the Storm another lead with a score of 5-4.
The Panthers scored three runs between the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, giving them a 7-5 advantage over the Storm heading into the top of the seventh. Storm slugger Trace Peterson got the ball rolling at the plate, hitting a double down the left field line. With two outs, Caleb Waller singled to center field and advanced to second on a passed ball, putting runners on first and third for Anthony Jackson. Jackson singled, scoring Waller and Peterson, and sent the game into extra innings with a tie ballgame (7-7).
The game was called due to darkness in the bottom of the eighth/top of the ninth inning, and resumed the next day at 12pm ET. Mitch Sorensen opened up the ninth inning on the bump, allowing one walk and earning one strikeout in two innings of work. Brad Curry came to pitch in relief in the bottom of the eleventh inning.
In the top of the twelve, Colin Minor and Forest Longeway hit back-to-back singles to put a Storm runner in scoring position before Brady Minetti drew a walk to load the bases. Sophomore Nathan Birtley reached first on a fielding error by the shortsop to score the first run in extras. Senior Rees Rua put the Storm up 9-7 with an RBI single. RHP Chris Mutter came in to close for the Storm in the bottom half of the inning, sealing the deal with two strikeouts, and earning his fourth save of the year.
Brad Curry is credited with the win, his first of 2019, making the sophomore southpaw 3-0 in a Storm uniform.
GAMES 3 AND 4
The Storm lost games three and four with scores of 3-0, and 10-1. The Storm recorded eight hits, while the Panthers recorded 17. The lone run in the final game of the series came in the sixth inning, when Caleb Waller hit an RBI single, scoring Trace Peterson, who reached on a double to left field.
STORM STANDOUTS vs. KWC PANTHERS
Anthony Jackson - Jackson recorded seven RBIs on four hits, including one triple.
Trace Peterson - The sophomore slugger continues his hot streak, scoring four runs on eight hits, three of which were doubles, with one RBI.
Caleb Waller - Consistency is what you get with the Storm junior, scoring four runs on four hits and four walks, with three RBIs.
Ryan Middendorf - The junior RHP recorded an ERA of 2.45 in his start against the Panthers, earning three strikeouts and a win.
Christopher Mutter - The RHP did not give up a run in his two outings against the Panthers, allowing one hit, and earning five strikeouts in two successful save opportunities.
Storm baseball returns home for a weekend series against Trevecca Nazarene with home field advantage. They are scheduled to play two double-headers at Classic Park on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. Game times are set for 2pm and 4pm on Friday, and 1pm and 4pm on Saturday.