SANFORD, Fla. – The Case Western Reserve University baseball team guaranteed itself at least a share of second-place at the 2011 University Athletic Association Championship with an afternoon sweep of Washington University (MO), 14-2, and Brandeis University (MA), 8-4, to improve to 10-5 overall and 4-2 in the association tournament on Sunday, March 13 at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Chad Mullins (Fredericksburg, OH/Waynedale) went 3-for-4, homered, walked twice and plated four to pace the offense as the Spartans avenged Thursday's 6-3 loss against the Bears with an offensive explosion, including a seven-run ninth inning to put the game away.
The Spartans got on the board in the second on an RBI triple by junior outfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, VA/T.C. Williams), who later crossed the plate on a passed ball. Case pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third when Mullins launched a three-run homer to left-center. After adding a run in the fourth, the Spartans added seven insurance runs in the ninth capped by another RBI by Alexander on a single up the middle.
Junior lefty A.J. Boshinski (Alpharetta, GA/St. Pius X) pitched six quality innings to improve to 3-0 on the season, striking out five and allowing just one earned run. Another junior, Taylor Lorenz (Strongsville, OH/Strongsville), also fired three innings of spotless relief, striking out four and holding the Bears hitless to earn his first save.
In the day's second tilt, Case jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, highlighted by a two-run single down the left field line in the first by sophomore Brett Ossola (Potomac, MD/Bullis School). Mullins added an RBI single in the second, but the Spartans would be held scoreless until the seventh, as Brandeis plated three to make it a one run ballgame.
Mullins pushed across a run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh and Alexander doubled in two more to help Case pull away for good, going up 7-3. Senior Steve Bills (Greensburg, PA/Hempfield) singled up the middle to tack on the Spartans' final run as Brandeis managed just one more score to make it an 8-4 final.
Junior righty Noah Lieberman (Evanston, IL/Evanston) moved to 2-0, picking up the win after hurling 5.1 innings of three-run ball. Senior Devin Dye (Canton, OH/Jackson) earned the save, coming on in relief to allow just one unearned run over 3.2 innings of work.
Case has now won four straight, and will await the outcome of tonight's game between Emory University (GA) and the University of Rochester (NY) at 6:00 p.m. and tomorrow's Emory-Wash U. matchup. If the Eagles lose either of their next two games, the Spartans would earn a share of first-place.