SANFORD, Fla. – Junior outfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, OH/Westlake) scored the game-clinching run in the eighth off a wild pitch as the Case Western Reserve University baseball team took a 3-2 pitcher's duel against the University of Rochester (NY) on Saturday, March 12 to win its second-straight at the 2011 University Athletic Association Championship at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
The Spartans rebounded from Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Yellowjackets to improve to 8-5 on the season and 2-2 overall in the UAA Championship standings, just one game back of conference leaders Brandeis University (MA) and Emory University (GA).
Case led 1-0 early against Rochester, jumping on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first when sophomore shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, OH/Tallmadge) led off with a single up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out. Sophomore infielder Brett Ossola (Potomac, MD/Bullis School) then scored him on a base hit to center to give Case a 1-0 lead.
Junior outfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, VA/T.C. Williams) doubled in classmate Matt Richards (San Juan Capistrano, CA/San Clemente) in the third to put Case up 2-0, but Rochester answered with runs in the fifth and eighth innings to knot the score at 2-2.
Senior infielder Corey Pecoraro drew a walk to begin the home-half of the eighth. Abed entered the game as a pinch runner for the designated hitter and promptly advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt. With one out, Abed crossed home plate on a wild pitch to give the Spartans the deciding run.
Freshman righty Jose Vega (Strongsville, OH/Padua Franciscan) entered late, pitching the final 1.1 innings and striking out two to earn the win (2-1) while another freshman, John Fortunato (Toledo, OH/St. Francis de Sales), started and gave Case five solid innings. The lefty scattered four hits and allowed just one earned run, fanning five batters. Adam Sullivan (0-1) was tagged with the loss for Rochester.
Case will be back on the field tomorrow (Sunday, March 13) for two more games, beginning against Washington University (MO) at 11:00 a.m. In the day's second game, CWRU will also have the opportunity move up in the standings versus Brandeis at 2:30 p.m.