Mullins Breaks School Hits Record as Spartan Baseball Splits with Guilford

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior third baseman Chad Mullins (Fredericksburg, OH/Waynedale) combined to go 4-for-6 with six runs batted-in and broke the school career record for hits as the Case Western Reserve University baseball team split a doubleheader with Guilford College (NC) on Sunday, February 20 at Edgar McBane Field. The Spartans finished their season-opening road trip with a 3-1 overall record.

The Spartans squandered a six-run lead in the opener, falling 9-8, then grabbed game two, 5-1. Guilford dropped to 3-6 on the season with the afternoon split.

After a seven-hit weekend, Mullins now has 187 hits for his career and has surpassed the 14-year-old mark of 183 set by Scott Feskanich (1994-97).
                          
In game one, each side scored a run in the opening inning. Case's run came when Mullins singled to right, breaking the CWRU record and driving home junior leftfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, OH/Westlake), who was hit by a pitch to open the inning then stole second. Guilford tied the score in the bottom of the first before Case added two more runs in the third on a two-run single by Mullins.

Guilford got one back in their half of the inning, but the Spartans added to their advantage with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. Sophomore first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, MD/Bullis School) provided the offense in the fifth with a two-run homer to left, while Mullins highlighted the sixth with another two-run single.

Trailing 8-3, however, the hosts staged a late rally with six runs in the seventh, tying the score when Zach Montalbano launched a pinch-hit, two-run homer to left and winning it when Danny Ditota singled home Tyler Radford.

On the mound, senior Devin Dye (Canton, OH/Jackson) surrendered two runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning of relief to drop to 0-1. Junior left-hander A.J. Boshinski (Alpharetta, GA/St. Pius X) started and pitched the first 6.2 innings in a no decision. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

For the game, Mullins was 4-for-4 with five RBI and Abed was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

In game two, Cory Smith (Chagrin Falls, OH/NDCL) got the ball and pitched four shutout innings before exiting with five strikeouts and just three hits allowed. Smith, who earned the win, was relieved by junior Bradley Potter (Rochester, NY/Gates-Chili) and freshman John Fortunato (Toledo, OH/St. Francis de Sales), who combined to throw three innings of one-run ball.

The Case offense struck early, as Mullins brought home Abed on a sacrifice fly and spotted Smith with a one-run lead after the first inning. An inning later, the Spartans erupted for four runs on a two-run double by junior Matt Richards (San Juan Capistrano, CA/San Clemente) and a two-run homer by Abed.

Guilford managed to scrape across a run in the fifth on a fielders' choice, but the Spartans were able to hang on for the 5-1 decision.

Abed and Richards led the offense in the nightcap, each going 2-for-3 and knocking in two runs.      

The Spartans are back in action next Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27 at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. Case plays a single, nine-inning game versus Bluffton University on Saturday at 11 a.m. then follows versus Wabash College (IN) under the lights at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Spartans will play a pair of nine-inning contests with Wabash, beginning at 12:00 p.m.