LAKE ERIE (14-13, 8-6 GLIAC) vs. MALONE (16-15, 8-7 GLIAC)
Lake Erie's first home game of the season has been a delayed, postponed and an on-again-off-again proposition. But the Storm are now slated to host the Walsh Cavaliers in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest on Wednesday.
The Green & White head into their 2013 debut at Braggs Field on a high note -- the Storm took 2-of-3 from the Saginaw Valley Cardinals (Mich.) last weekend. And in those three games, Lake Erie showed flashes of the pitching, defense and clutch hitting that led the squad to a 5-1 record through its first six games this season.
Walsh heads into Wednesday's contest on a tremendous roll. The Cavaliers have won seven in a row since starting the season out 9-15 in their first 24 games. Pitching and defense has led the way for WU -- the Cavaliers have yielded more than three runs just once over their seven-game streak. Last Saturday and Sunday Walsh swept a three-game set from the Findlay Oilers, and WU allowed only three runs in the entire series.
LEC and WU met twice a year ago with the Storm prevailing in both games. Lake Erie is 5-5 in 10 all-time home openers. The Storm went 9-8 in 17 home games last season.
AL MVP: Center fielder Aaron Lindgren batted .304/.370/.565 (BA/OBP/SLG) in 29 plate appearances last week. For the season, the Willoughby, Ohio, native is batting .293/.368/.457 with 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases. Lindgren had a nine-game hit streak earlier this season; his big numbers last week came on the heels of a slump that saw him go 1-for-13 at the plate. In 110 career games, he has batted .323 (118-of-365) with 17 doubles, nine triples and 14 home runs. He has scored 77 runs and knocked in 79. Lindgren's nine triples are an LEC program record.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Lake Erie struggled defensively last week, posting a .934 fielding percentage over seven games. But on the season the Storm own a a fine.960 mark, a percentage that ranks third in the 12-team GLIAC.
AS EASY AS 1-2-3: Junior left-hander Heath Kelley owns the GLIAC's third-lowest ERA (1.23) this season. The southpaw from Mentor, Ohio, has the circuit's second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.2-to-1) and has held opponents to a .239 batting average.
RAGING ON: LEC had 13 walks in last Sunday's twin bill at Saginaw. The 13 walks were a trend reversal of sorts -- the Storm had averaged just two walks per game over their previous seven contests. … LEC pitching allowed just one extra-base hit over the 17 innings pitched on Sunday. … Russ Hogue tossed a shutout in Sunday's nightcap at SVSU. The Sunday performance capped off a big week for the Belle Center, Ohio, native. The junior right-hander allowed just one earned run on three hits in a 4-3 win over Ashland on Monday, March 31. His season ERA now sits at 2.45. ... Garret Emling went 5-for-7 with four RBIs on Sunday. ... The Storm are just 12-for-their-last-66 (.182) with runners in scoring position. On the year the Green & White are batting .269 (63-of-234) in such situations.
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