Ohio Valley baseball hosts home opener today

VIENNA — It won’t be ideal baseball weather, but don’t tell Ohio Valley University’s squad.

The Fighting Scots (9-7) face Lake Erie in their home opener, as well as their Great Midwest Athletic Conference opener, at 1 p.m. today when the temperature is expected to be 37 degrees.

OVU enters today’s action on a severe slide after opening the season by winning nine of its first 13 games, including huge wins over Lynn (Fla.) University (11-10) and University of Montevallo (4-1).

But in their last three games, the Fighting Scots have been outscored 46-1 in losses to Florida Institute of Technology, Seton Hill University and Northwood University.

“I feel like we’ve played a really tough schedule,” said OVU coach Chad Porter.

“Getting out of those first 16 games at 9-7, we are pleased with that. We know we could have done better, but also know we won some close ones.”

Last year, OVU was an impressive 17-4 at home and the Fighting Scots could get off to a good start in 2018.

The Storm enter today’s action with a 2-8-1 record this season. In their last series against Concord, Lake Erie won the opener 9-5 and then dropped the next two games 11-6 and 8-2.

Senior infielder Wes Birchmeier, who is hitting .325 on the season with five RBI, led The Storm with six hits against Concord. Senior infielder Ryan Carver is Lake Erie’s top hitter with a .357 average, while freshman catcher Trace Peterson is hitting .341 with three home runs and seven RBI. Freshman outfielder Forrest Longeway leads The Storm with nine RBI.

Early on, senior righty David Lemasters has enjoyed the most success on the mound for Lake Erie with a 1-1 record and a 3.45 ERA in 15.6 innings of work. Freshman lefty Brad Curry, who has appeared in four games without a start, has Lake Erie’s other win.

Senior outfielder Travis Perkola, who has started 16 games, leads Ohio Valley with 20 hits, 12 RBI, 23 total bases and seven stolen bases. He is hitting .328 on the young season. Sophomore infielder Bryce Strawderman, who has played in 13 games, leads OVU with a .333 average. Senior outfielder Mitchell Davis, OVU’s only other hitter above .300, is at .313 with 10 RBI.

Senior catcher Nicholas Villazon is hitting a respectable .286, while junior second baseman Daniel Quinn is at .289.

On the mound, senior lefty Matthew Carey is 3-2 with a 4.56 ERA and 26 strikeouts, while sophomore righty Nicholas Shower is 1-1 with a 4.79 ERA and one save.

The Fighting Scots are on the road for its next eight games – doubleheaders at Ohio Dominican (Friday), Walsh (March 23) and Malone (March 24) – and single games at West Virginia State (March 20) and Salem International (March 28). OVU returns home for a conference doubleheader with Hillsdale at noon March 30.