#10 CWRU Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Washington

#10 CWRU Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Washington

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team, ranked 10th in Division III, rallied from a tough 4-3 defeat in the early game of a doubleheader against Washington University (Mo.) to defeat the Bears 9-1 in the second game of the day, splitting a doubleheader in Saint Louis, Missouri on Saturday afternoon.

With the split, the Spartans now stand at 24-6 on the year, while Washington moved to 17-13.  The Spartans raised their University Athletic Association record to 11-4, and moved within one league victory of clinching at least a share of the 2018 UAA Title.  The Bears fell to 6-5 in the conference with the loss in the second game.

Game 1 – Washington 4, CWRU 3
The Spartans appeared to have a victory in hand in the first game off the day, but a two-out ninth inning rally for the Bears brought across a pair of runs and gave Washington a 4-3 walk-off win in game one.

The Bears took an early 1-0 lead in the game, scoring a run on a one out double by John Brinkman off CWRU senior starter Ben Murphy.  However, Murphy would settle in from there, retiring 11 batters in a row between the second and fifth innings, keeping it at a one-run game.

The Spartans would finally break through in the top of the sixth inning.  Freshman shortstop Jacob Lott led off the inning with a base hit against Washington starter Ryan Loutos, sophomore centerfielder Samuel Neal followed with a hit by pitch, and junior second baseman Rocco Maue walked to load the bases.  Still with nobody out in the inning, senior designated hitter Alex Capetillo tied the score with an RBI single.  Sophomore first baseman Noah Mehrle gave CWRU the lead with an RBI groundout, and a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Tyler Wypiszenski put the Spartans ahead 3-1.

Murphy pitched a scoreless sixth inning, before turning the game over to junior Corey Brown, who worked around a leadoff single in the seventh to pitch a shutout frame, before allowing a run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.  Senior Liam Killingstad entered the game with two outs and runners on the corners, and struck out Johnny LaMantia to end the Bears' threat.  Killingstad would retire the first two batters in the ninth, but allowed two walks and an infield hit to load the bases.  The tying run would score for the Bears on a hit batter, and the winning run came across on a walk, giving Washington the walk-off victory.

Killingstad would take the loss in the game, dropping to 2-1 on the year, while Washington's Tim Tague earned the win in relief to improve to 4-2.

Capetillo had two of CWRU's four hits in the game, finishing the contest two-for-three at the plate with an RBI and a walk.

Game 2 – CWRU 9, Washington 1
A resilient Spartan squad bounced back from the loss in the early game with a dominant performance in the late contest, defeating the Bears 9-1.

Freshman Matt Levine gave the Spartans a much-needed six shutout innings, and CWRU outhit the Bears 11-5 in the game. 

After a scoreless first inning, the Spartans struck for a pair in the top of the second, scoring on a bases-loaded walk to junior third baseman Jacob Kucia and a sacrifice fly for Lott.  CWRU extended its lead in the top of the third, scoring three on a bases-loaded two out double by senior outfielder Nate Glasser, and adding a fourth run on an RBI single by Kucia, taking a 6-0 lead over the Bears.

The 6-0 lead was more than enough for Levine who needed just 79 pitches to navigate his six scoreless innings of work, while allowing just five hits and two walks, while striking out a batter.

In the top of the eighth, an RBI single by Capetillo and a two RBI double for Wypiszenski helped CWRU extend its lead to 9-0.

Levine earned the win in the game, improving to a team-best 5-0 on the year, while Washington's Matt Ashbaugh took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the year.

Junior Mike Najmowicz pitched the final three innings for CWRU, holding the Bears to one run on just one hit, and earning his first career save.

Maue, Capetillo and Mehrle each had two hits in the game, while Wypiszenski, Glasser and Kucia all drove in multiple runs.

The Spartans will aim to clinch the third UAA title in the program's history on Sunday, when they wrap-up their conference slate for 2018 on Sunday, April 22nd at 12:00 p.m. ET against Washington in Saint Louis.