ST CHARLES, MO.- The Lake Erie College Storm baseball team will open their season in Missourri against a three-game series against the Lindenwood University Lions. The series will consist of three nine-inning games, two of which will be played on Thursday, Feb. 14, and will wrap up on Friday, Feb. 15.
The Lions have already gotten their season underway, dropping three games to Lee University and Mississippi College respectively, while also coming away with two wins (one against each team). Lindenwood has a strong pitching staff, as most have returned to play for the Lions in the 2019 season. Pitchers to watch in this series for Lindenwood include Tyler Cassmeyer and Kyle Hentis. Cassmeyer went 7-3 last season with a conference-leading .214 opposing batting average, 79 strikeouts and compiled a 3.01 ERA in 83.2 innings pitched. Hentis went 2-4 with three saves in his 56 innings pitched last season, while also striking out 72 batters and posting a 4.50 ERA.
At the plate, the Lion to look out for is Dominick Revetta. A junior, Revetta recorded a .350 batting average, also scoring 13 runs and batting in 17.
Last season the Storm had an overall record of 17-27-1 with a G-MAC record of 14-13. In 45 games, they had a team batting average of .275, OBP of .361, and a slugging percentage of .384. Offensively, the Storm will miss graduated Sr. Wes Birchmeier, who batted .311, with an OBP of nearly .400 and a .528 slugging percentage, and drove in 32 runs while additionally scoring 31 runs himself. Another senior will surely be missed for the Storm due to his presence on the mound. Michael Stryffeler started nine games for Lake Erie last year, and averaged 11.09 strikeouts per nine innings with 70 strikeouts total. Both Birchmeier and Stryffeler were named to All-Conference teams in 2018.
Returning for the Storm in the 2019 season are seniors David Lemasters, Rees Rua, Nigel Willams, and sophomore Trace Peterson. Lemasters is coming off a stellar 2018 season as the ace of the Storm pitching staff in which he started 11 games, averaged 10.80 strikeouts per nine innings, struck out 72 batters total, and had a season ERA of 3.30. Lemasters was rewarded with a Second Team All-Conference award. Rua, who had a slugging percentage of .404, and Williams, who had an OBP of .350, add senior leadership and productivity to a squad loaded with freshman and sophomore talent.
Sophomore Trace Peterson looks to build upon his impressive freshman season. The outfielder was an offensive force for the Storm, appearing in 41 games, batting .327, with an OBP of .384, and a slugging percentage of .545. He drove in 29 RBIs, scored 38 runs, with 9 home runs.
The first pitch of the 2019 Storm baseball season is set for 1pm, with David Lemasters on the bump for the Storm. Game two of the double header should start around 4pm, which will include Ryan Middendorf getting the second start of the season for the Storm.
For more information on Lake Erie Baseball, please visit lakeeriestorm.com.