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Lake Erie

Killer instinct: Kilway, Storm conquer and advance

Killer instinct: Kilway, Storm conquer and advance

XENIA, Ohio – The Lake Erie Storm are armed and dangerous. On Friday night – for a second straight night – LEC got a complete-game performance from a starting pitcher; on Friday, Lake Erie rode that performance to a 6-1 win over the Cardinals of Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.).

Senior right-hander Brian Kilway went nine innings, allowing just one unearned run, and the Storm offense continued a recent productive trend, as Lake Erie notched a victory for a second straight day at the 2014 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at Grady's Field in Xenia, Ohio. Kilway's complete game – his fourth of the season – followed teammate Brad Raley, who went the route in a 9-2 win over Tiffin on Thursday.

With the win, Lake Erie (30-18) reached the 30-win plateau for a first time in program history. The victory also sends the Storm into a Saturday-morning contest against No. 1 seed Grand Valley State (Mich.) as the tournament rolls into day three-of-four.

In Friday's contest Lake Erie got three consecutive second-inning hits en route to taking a 2-0 lead. Kilway worked in and out of trouble numerous times in the early innings before settling into a mid-inning stretch that saw him retire 14-of-15 batters.

Defensive miscues and three LEC walks led to three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Storm would build their lead to 6-0 in the seventh, and it wasn't until a Kilway error produced a Cardinal error in the eighth that SVSU (20-24) got on the board.

The 6-foot-4 righty then made it through the rest of the outs of the game, eventually getting No. 27 on a fly ball to right. For the game, Kilway induced 12 groundball outs, and he struck out seven while walking three. He held the Cardinals to an 0-for-6 mark with runners in scoring position.

And that may be the back half of the stat of the tournament thus far: Lake Erie pitching has held foes to a 2-of-23 mark with runners in scoring position.

Garrett Emling, Josh Hudeck and Dylan Yankle each collected two hits on Friday. And the LEC defense played a strong game, turning tough plays into outs on numerous occasions.

But the best defense of the night was that of Kilway coming through with a bulldog effort and defending the lead, from start to finish.

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