Spartans and Big Red Tie in 11 Innings; Game Called Due to Darkness

A.J. Boshinski struck out five and did not allow an earned run in three innings out of the bullpen. (photo by Matt Napfel)
A.J. Boshinski struck out five and did not allow an earned run in three innings out of the bullpen. (photo by Matt Napfel)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – After three and a half hours and 11 innings of action, a winner could not be declared on Tuesday as the Case Western Reserve University baseball team tied Denison University by a 6-6 count at Nobby's Ballpark. The game was called early due to darkness.

The Spartans move to 16-10-1 overall, while Denison sits at 5-18-1. Tuesday's tie was the first for the program since April 3, 2008 at Baldwin-Wallace College. That game also ended as a 6-6 tie in 12 innings.

Denison got on the board in the top of the second inning when Danny Kraus hit an RBI ground out to plate Tim Duxbury. Case answered in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs when senior outfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) and freshman outfielder Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) came around to score on a single up the middle by sophomore infielder Andrew Frey (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor).

In the top of the third, the Big Red regained the lead at 3-2 with a pair of tallies on a two-out double from Justin Vaske. That lead was short-lived as Case moved back ahead when junior shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) hit an RBI triple to left center, then came around to score on a balk. 

The Big Red then knotted the game at 4-4 with an unearned run in the top half of the fifth. The Spartans looked to regain the advantage in the sixth, but Denison shortstop Kyle Clemmenson climbed the ladder and robbed Keen of a potential extra-base hit with the bases loaded.

In the top of the eighth, Denison took the lead once again on a two-run double down the right field line off the bat of David Baskin.

Not done yet, the Spartans recorded a run in the home half of the frame as freshman pinch hitter Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) singled through the right side to plate sophomore pinch runner Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton). However, another fine defensive play up the middle by the Big Red middle infielders robbed Keen once again of an RBI hit.

After shutting down the Big Red in the top half of the ninth, the hosts would tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Junior centerfielder Paul Pakan (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) hit a towering fly ball to left that just missed a homer and wound up being a double. Pakan then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single through the right side from Alexander. However, the Big Red threw out the potential winning run at home plate when Spartan senior outfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) attempted to tag up on a fly out to left center field. 

In the 10th, the Big Red loaded the bases with only one out, but Case sophomore righty Josh Suvak (Independence, Ohio/Independence) worked out the jam inducing a flyout and a groundout. Following the Spartans' at-bat in the 11th, the game was called due to darkness.

At the plate, Fry and Alexander were each 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Clemmenson led the Big Red going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while Andrew Mahle was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and a run scored.

On the mound, senior right-hander Zach Fry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) got the start for the Spartans, allowing three runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks in three innings of work. Senior lefty A.J. Boshinski (Alpharetta, Ga./St. Pius X) went the next three frames allowing just one unearned tally on two hits with five strikeouts.

Freshman Robert Winemiller (Twinsburg, Ohio/University School), senior Bradley Potter (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili) and sophomore Jose Vega (Strongsville, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) all threw in relief before Suvak tossed the final three innings without allowing a run.