Since April 8, no Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball team has been hotter than Ashland University.
Since April 12, one would be hard-pressed to find a hotter GLIAC hitter than Eagle sophomore third baseman J.P. Sorma.
Sorma and the Eagles continued to do their thing in a GLIAC South Division doubleheader at Lake Erie on Wednesday (April 20), taking 7-2 and 11-6 decisions from the Storm. AU, with nine victories in its last 10 games, is 23-12 overall, 14-2 in the conference and 10-0 in the division, while Lake Erie is 9-24/5-13/3-7.
In the last nine games, Sorma, the reigning South Division Player of the Week who was 4-for-7 with a grand slam, another home run and seven RBIs in Wednesday's twinbill, is 21-for-35 (.600) with seven homers, five doubles, 21 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Wednesday's first game saw the Eagles put up single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, then add two runs each in the fifth and seventh frames. All of that offense was more than enough for freshman right-handed pitcher Sam Rice, who improved to 2-0 after allowing eight hits, two runs and a walk and striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings in his second collegiate start.
Senior right fielder Mike Lewandowski, senior first baseman Mackenzie Hampshire, senior center fielder Nick Edwards and freshman second baseman Cameron Nunn each had two of Ashland's 13 hits. Hampshire and Edwards joined Sorma in hitting round-trippers, and both Sorma and Nunn drove in two runs.
The darkness-shortened Game 2 (eight innings instead of nine) had Lake Erie leading 4-2 after three innings – until Sorma's slam capped a seven-run top of the fourth for the Eagles. Sorma was 2-for-3 with five RBIs, and Lewandowski, sophomore left fielder Greg Ludwig and junior shortstop Brad Hartman each had two of Ashland's 14 hits.
Another freshman righty, Chris Slavik, earned a win to improve to 3-1 thanks to 4 1/3 innings of solid relief. Slavik allowed two hits, two runs and two walks and struck out four.
The Eagles go back on the road in GLIAC South play on Saturday (April 23) and Sunday (April 24) for a four-game set at Walsh (18-18/9-7/6-4).