MARIETTA, Ohio – Sophomore first baseman Noah Sherman (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Preparatory) was 4-for-5 with four RBI, and the No. 20 nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team posted an 18-3 victory versus Thomas More College (Ky.) in the second straight elimination game for each squad at the 2014 NCAA Mideast Regional at Don Schaly Stadium.
The second-seeded Spartans (33-11) tie the school single-season record for wins (2011) and advance to play fourth-seeded Widener University (Pa.) this evening at 5:50 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the championship round against Salisbury University (Md.) tomorrow morning.
Thomas More, the seventh seed, ends its year at 25-19 with both of its losses at the Mideast Regional coming to CWRU. The two squads met late on Wednesday night with the Spartans claiming a 6-2 victory.
Sherman is now 10-for-17 (.588) for the tournament and 8-for-10 with six RBI over the last two games. Overall, seven posted multi-hit efforts as the Spartans racked up 23 as a team. Junior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) was 3-for-5 and tied Chad Mullins' CWRU single-season record of 83 hits (2011). The University Athletic Association Player of the Year also walked twice and scored three runs.
In his first career start, sophomore pitcher Lee Penzarella (Philadelphia, Pa./Friends Central) threw eight stellar innings with just two earned runs allowed on four hits. Penzarella (2-0), whose previous career high was 4 2/3 innings, needed just 99 pitches to navigate through eight frames.
The Spartans batted around in the top of the first and scored five runs on five hits. Sherman drove home a pair with a single down the left field line, while junior second baseman Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) and freshman centerfielder Aaron Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) each hit RBI doubles to right.
The lead was extended to 7-0 in the second when junior catcher Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) pulled a two-run double over the left fielder's head, plating Kerrigan Cain and Gronski. The Saints then got on the board with an unearned run in the bottom half as Nick Connor hit a two-out, RBI double to deep right.
After a scoreless third, CWRU blew the game open with four more runs on five hits in the fourth. Sherman highlighted the inning with a two-run double into the left field corner. The Spartans added three more tallies in the sixth and four in the eighth.
Aaron Cain finished 4-for-6 with four RBI.
Starter Logan Miller (7-4) lasted only 1 2/3 innings for Thomas More.
The winner of this evening's match-up between CWRU and Widener would have to defeat Salisbury twice tomorrow to win the regional and advance to the Division III World Series.