Baseball Eyes Key Weekend UAA Home Series against #16 Washington

Baseball Eyes Key Weekend UAA Home Series against #16 Washington

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team will wrap-up its 2017 University Athletic Association schedule this weekend with a potential conference-title deciding series against 16th-ranked Washington University (Mo.) at Nobby's Ballpark from Friday, April 14th – Sunday, April 16th.

The four-game series is scheduled to begin on Friday with a 3:00 p.m. game between the Spartans and the Bears.  Series action will continue with a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first pitch currently scheduled for 12:00 p.m.  The weekend will conclude with a singles game at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Live Coverage

Live video coverage of all four games of the series will be available at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/live.  Fans can also follow the action with live statistics at the links below:

Friday, April 14th
Game 1 (3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170414_2pl2.xml

Saturday, April 15th
Game 2 (12:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170415_1vsb.xml
Game 3 (3:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170415_r5aq.xml

Sunday, April 16th
Game 4 (12:00 PM): http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/boxscores/20170416_x16a.xml

 

UAA Standings

 
 

UAA

UAA Win %

Overall

1.

#16 Washington (Mo.)

4-0

1.000

16-6

2.

Case Western Reserve

9-3

.750

15-12

3.

Emory

6-6

.500

24-11

4.

NYU

1-3

.250

12-7

5.

Brandeis

0-8

.000

1-14

 

The UAA Champion is determined based on winning percentage among teams with at least 10 UAA games played.  Chicago, which does not play a full UAA schedule, is not eligible for the UAA Title this season, and games against Chicago do not count as UAA games.

 

CWRU Spartans

The Spartans will enter the weekend as winners of nine of their last 10 games, improving to 15-12 overall, including a 4-0 mark in home contests.  With a 9-3 record in UAA games, Case Western Reserve could clinch the 2017 conference title with a sweep of the Bears during the weekend.  The team is coming off a 3-1 road series at New York University last weekend, and is batting .274 overall for the season with 7.1 runs scored per game, while the pitching staff has a 4.96 team earned run average with a .265 opponents' average.

Leading the way offensively for the Spartans this season has been sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski, who will enter the weekend leading the team in average (.333), doubles (nine) and runs batted in (24).  Other hitters batting over .300 for CWRU include junior Dan Watson (.314, 17 RBIs), senior Josh Neal (.308, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs) and senior Aaron Cain (.305, 25 runs).  Senior Tony Damiano is hitting .277 and leads the team with 25 runs scored and 14 stolen bases on as many attempts, while sophomore Jacob Kucia has a team-leading three home runs among his 10 extra-base hits during the campaign.  On the mound, top starters for the Spartans include junior Ben Murphy (4-0, 1.88 ERA), sophomore Mark Gross (3-3, 3.80 ERA) and senior Jake Shields (3-3, 3.86 ERA), while top options out of the bullpen include junior Liam Killingstad (2.11 ERA, 11 appearances, three saves) and sophomore Corey Brown (1-0, 4.00 ERA, 11 appearances).

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Matt Englander, who is in his 11th season with the squad. He has a career record of 249-199-2, good for a winning percentage of .556, and earlier this season, became the winningest coach in the program's history.  Englander is assisted by Nick Callahan and Branden Stucky.

 

#16 Washington (Mo.) Bears

Washington, ranked 16th in the latest D3baseball.com and ABCA polls, will enter the weekend with a 16-6 overall record, including a 1-3 mark in road games, and a 6-5 ledger in all games away from their home park.  The Bears are coming off a 5-3 loss to Webster on Wednesday, which was the team's first action since sweeping a UAA series against Emory from March 31 through April 2 that put the Bears in sole possession of first place in the conference with a 4-0 mark.  The team is batting .306 this season with 7.0 runs per game, while the pitching staff has a UAA-best ERA of 3.28 with an opponents' batting average of .237.

Washington is led by 2017 Preseason All-America First Team selection Ben Browdy, who is batting .426 with three home runs and 25 runs batted in this season, while five other regulars in the team's lineup are hitting over .300 for the campaign, including Auggie Mense, who is leading the UAA in walks (1.1 per game) and on base percentage (.553).  Regular starting pitchers for the Bears include Brad Margolin (5-0, 2.76 ERA), Scott Nelson (2-1, 3.16 ERA) and Zack Kotin (2-2, 3.33 ERA), while Jake Mintz (4-0, 0.81 ERA), Bill Heisler (1-0, 2.25 ERA) and Matt Clohisy (3.14 ERA, 3 saves) have been top options out of the bullpen for Washington this year.

The Bears are led by head coach Pat Bloom, who has notched a record of 49-24 during his two seasons at the team's helm.  Over his career, which includes 12 seasons with the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, he has gone 452-199 for a .694 winning percentage.  Bloom is assisted by Adam Rosen and Tyler Schmitt.

 

Series History

Last season, CWRU suffered a 13-2 loss to Washington, despite solo home runs in the game from both Tyler Wypiszenski and Tony Damiano.  The Spartans are 22-37 all-time against the Bears, including an 11-8 mark since the start of the 2009 season.  This will be the first time the two teams have played in Cleveland since splitting a two-game series during the 2008 campaign. 

For more information on the series history between the Spartans and the Bears, go to http://athletics.case.edu/sports/bsb/SeriesHistory?opponentRpi=755.

 

Spartan Notes

Liam Killingstad was named as the relief pitcher on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week, becoming the first Spartan this season to earn the honor, and the first overall since Dan Watson on February 29, 2016… Killingstad pitched in two games during the series, throwing 2.1 perfect innings and collecting a pair of saves… CWRU leads the UAA and is 40th in Division III with 52 stolen bases this season… The Spartans' 32 double plays turned lead the conference as well, and are the seventh-most by a DIII team this season… As of Wednesday afternoon, Case Western Reserve's schedule ranks as the second most difficult in Division III, while Washington's ranks third… Jake Shields has not allowed a run in his last 17.1 innings of work… Over his last two starts, the right-handed pitcher has held the opposition scoreless on eight hits and three walks with 22 strikeouts over 16.2 innings on the hill… Shields has won his last two starts, and his 21 career victories are three shy of Jamie Hora's (2010-13) program record of 24… He is currently 10th among DIII pitchers and 28th among all active NCAA players in career wins… In addition, his 169 strikeouts are third in school history, three behind Dan Ruef (2001-04) for second, and 38 behind Lance Sparks' (1992-95) program record of 207… CWRU is batting .359 as a team with the bases loaded this season (14-of-39), led by a four-for-five performance from Tyler Wypiszenski and a three-for-three showing from junior Alex Capetillo in such situations… Aaron Cain has driven in a runner from third base with less than two outs 12 times on as many attempts this season… The Spartans are 11-1 this year when leading after six innings and 12-2 when out-hitting its opponent… The Spartans have won their last 55 games when scoring 10 or more runs… The Spartans last loss when scoring 10 or more runs in a game occurred on April 17, 2011, when CWRU suffered a 15-14 setback to Wooster…CWRU is 13-3 when holding opponents to five or fewer runs this season… The Spartans .295 batting average in UAA games is the highest in the conference this season.