GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Case Western Reserve University baseball team moved to 3-1 on the opening weekend of the season with a doubleheader split at Guilford College on Sunday at McBane Field. The Spartans won the opener behind a strong pitching performance, 4-2, but were outslugged in game two, 14-4.
The Spartans return to action with a pair of neutral site twinbills next Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, at V.A. Memorial Field in Chillicothe, Ohio. Guilford moves to 7-3 with the split.
In game one, senior Bradley Potter (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili) pitched one of the finest games of his career, shutting out the Quakers over the first six innings. Potter eventually threw 6.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Sophomore reliever Jose Vega (Strongsville, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) came on in relief with two runners on and allowed only one to score on an error en route to recording his second save of the young season.
The Spartans scored three of their runs in the third with junior shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) hitting a two-run homer. Senior designated hitter Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) provided the other run batted-in with a single to plate sophomore third baseman Andrew Frey (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). Senior catcher Peter Zak (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) provided an insurance run in the fifth with an RBI single.
For the game, Keen, Alexander and junior first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) were each 2-for-4.
In game two, the Spartans got on the scoreboard first via a sacrifice fly from junior centerfielder Paul Pakan (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge). Guilford came back in its half of the inning with a two-run single from Zack Montalbano to put the hosts on top. That lead grew to 7-1 when the Quakers tacked on five more in the second as John Macon Smith and Will Byrd each provided two-run singles.
Case got back in the game momentarily with a three-run third, but Guilford took advantage of five Spartan errors and put the game away with three in the third, one in the fifth and three more in the sixth.
In his first game in more than a year following injury, senior Cory Smith (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) only lasted a third of an inning on the mound, suffering the loss. A host of other Spartans threw in relief in the game with freshman Edward Abramson (Maitland, Fla./Winter Park) the most effective, not allowing an earned run in two innings.
At the plate, Pakan was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, while Alexander was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer.
The Spartans open their Chillicothe weekend versus Oberlin College next Saturday with a doubleheader starting at noon.