13th-ranked Spartans Complete Series Sweep of Brandeis on Sunday

13th-ranked Spartans Complete Series Sweep of Brandeis on Sunday

The 13th-ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Brandeis University on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Judges 8-3 in the early game, before capturing a 14-8 win in the late contest at Stein Diamond in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The two wins on Sunday extended the Spartans' winning streak to seven games, as the team improved to 20-3 overall on the season, marking the fastest the team has even gotten to 20 victories in a season.  CWRU improved to 7-1 in the University Athletic Association, taking a three-game lead in the conference standings over both Washington University (Mo.) and Emory University, which each stand at 4-4 halfway through the UAA schedule.

Brandeis dropped to 2-13 on the season with the loss, including a 0-4 mark in the UAA.

CWRU freshman Jacob Lott led the team at the plate over the two games, going four-for-eight with six runs scored, five runs batted in, two home runs, a double, a walk, and two stolen bases.

Game 1: CWRU 8, Brandeis 3
Lott scored three runs, including one on a straight-steal of home, and junior Ben Murphy allowed just one earned run over seven and two-thirds innings of work, as the Spartans defeated Brandeis 8-3 to open play on Sunday.

The Spartans outhit Brandeis 9-6 in the game, but added on six walks and took advantage of four errors by the Judges, while also stealing seven bases and failing to strike out during the contest.  Lott went one-for four in the game with a walk and two steals, while junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski added a two-for-four day at the plate with a pair of steals, and sophomore outfielder Noah Mehrle went two-for-five with a run, an RBI, a walk, and a double.

Junior second baseman Rocco Maue helped manufacture an early lead for the Spartans in the opening game of the day, doubling with one out, stealing third base, and scoring on a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Jacob Pestel.  Wypiszenski started the second inning with a single, stole second base, and then scored on an RBI double by Mehrle.  Mehrle extended the lead to 3-0 later in the inning when he crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from junior third baseman Jacob Kucia, and Lott scored the third run of the inning on an error, giving the Spartans a 4-0 advantage after an inning and a half.

The Spartans' bats continued to produce, with sophomore first baseman Casey McConihe driving home Pestel with an RBI single in the third, giving CWRU a 5-0 lead before Brandeis was able to registered its first baserunner of the game.

Murphy retired the first nine batters he faced in order, before giving up a leadoff double to Donnie Weisse to start the fourth inning.  Weisse would eventually come around to score a run on a sacrifice fly, cutting the Spartans' lead to 5-1.

Brandeis pulled closer in the bottom of the sixth with an unearned run against Murphy.  However, Lott was able to produce a run without the benefit on a hit in the eighth inning, reaching on an error, moving up to second on a wild pitch, advancing to third on a fly out, and successfully stealing home as the Brandeis catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher with two outs in the inning, putting the Spartans in front 6-2. 

Murphy pitched into the eighth inning of the game, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and five strikeouts, while not walking a batter in the effort.  Senior Liam Killingstad entered the game with two on and two outs in the eighth, getting Dan Frey to ground out to end the inning.

The Spartans added on two more runs in the ninth, with Kucia scoring from third on a double steal with runners on the corners and two outs, and Lott coming across the plate from second base on an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Samuel Neal.  Brandeis would pick up an unearned run in the bottom of the inning, but Killingstad ultimately closed out the game for his seventh save of the season.

Murphy earned the win in the game, improving to 4-1 on the year with a 1.55 earned run average.  Brandeis starter Albert Gutierrez allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks in the loss, dropping to 0-3 on the campaign.

Game 2: CWRU 14, Brandeis 8
Lott hit the first two home runs of his career in the second game of the day and drove in five runs, leading the Spartans to a 14-8 win over Brandeis to wrap-up the series.

The Spartans' bats exploded in the second game for 14 runs and matched their season high with 19 hits.  Lott went three-for-four in the game with a double, two home runs, three runs scored, and five runs batted in.  Senior designated hitter Alex Capetillo collected five hits in six at bats in the game, scoring a run, driving in two, and stealing a base.  Neal was among five other Spartan players with two hits in the game, going two-for-six with a run and three RBIs.

Much like the first game, CWRU jumped out to a multiple-run lead before Brandeis was able to get its first base runner.  Neal put the Spartans on the scoreboard in the second inning of game two, singling up the middle with two outs to drive in both senior outfielder Nate Glasser and McConihe.  A batter later, Maue singled into left field to plate Neal, extending the lead to 3-0.  Wypiszenski led off the third inning with a double, and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch.  Lott and Neal each added an RBI double during the inning, giving the Spartans a 6-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings.

Freshman starter Matt Levine retired the first 10 batters he faced on Sunday, and did not allow a hit until two outs in the fourth, when Dan O'Leary drove in an unearned run with a base hit.  O'Leary's single ended a stretch of 13-straight scoreless innings for Levine.

With two runners on and one out in the top of the fifth, Lott sent a pitch over the wall in left field for his first career home run, putting the Spartans ahead 9-1, and an RBI single from Capetillo later in the inning gave CWRU a nine-run lead.

Brandeis worked its way back into the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth, and six more in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the Spartan lead to 10-8.  Capetillo got the Spartans a run back in the top of the seventh with a two-out RBI single that scored Kucia, putting CWRU back in front by three runs.  After junior reliever Corey Brown struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh, Glasser doubled with two outs in the eighth, stole third and scored on a throwing error to give the Spartans a 12-8 lead.

Lott's second home run of the day, a solo shot over the wall in left field to lead off the ninth inning, gave CWRU a five-run lead, and Wypiszenski drove in another run with a base hit with two outs in the frame to put the Spartans front 14-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Levine earned the win for the Spartans, raising his record to 4-0 on the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out two batters over five innings.  Brown added a solid relief effort in the game, pitching the final four innings and allowing just two runs on two hits and two walks with five strikeouts, earning his first save of the season.

Brandeis starter Bradley Bousquet took the loss in the game falling to 0-1 on the year.

The Spartans will return home for a four-game series against UAA-rival New York University next weekend.  The series is slated to begin with a single game on Friday, April 13th at 3:00 p.m. at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland, Ohio.