MARIETTA, Ohio – A nine-run first inning propelled the Case Western Reserve University baseball team to its second win of the day, 10-4, over Franklin College (Ind.) at the 2011 NCAA Mideast Regional. With the win, the Spartans stay alive in the tournament to play tomorrow and improve to 33-14 overall on the season.
CWRU will face off with No. 2-seeded Heidelberg University for the second time in the tournament tomorrow (Saturday, May 21) at 12 p.m. The 'Berg took the first game in regional play, 8-1, on Thursday, May 19.
After depositing 12 runs against Penn State-Altoona in the day's first win, the Spartan bats stayed hot and chased Franklin starter David Mattingly after just one out in the first, crossing the plate nine times to take a commanding lead early.
The early offensive explosion was highlighted by two-run singles from senior catcher Steve Bills (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) and junior outfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) as well as a two-run double by sophomore shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge). Case added another run in the third on an RBI single by Bills.
Noah Lieberman (Evanston, Ill./Evanston) pitched the first 3.2 innings, striking out five before Josh Suvak (Independence, Ohio/Independence) came on in relief to fire 5.1 shutout innings and improve to 2-0 on the season.
Keen finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Bills posted a 3-for-4 day with three RBI and senior Cory Pecoraro (Strongsville, Ohio/Benedictine) had a perfect 3-for-3 afternoon with two runs scored and a walk.