Spartans Split Doubleheader at Wooster, Win Season Series

Head Coach Matt Englander (left) congratulates Peter Zak (right) following his game one homer. (photo by Matt Dilyard)
Head Coach Matt Englander (left) congratulates Peter Zak (right) following his game one homer. (photo by Matt Dilyard)

WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior catcher Peter Zak (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) was a combined 4-for-6 with a homer and three runs batted-in as the Case Western Reserve University baseball team split a doubleheader at The College of Wooster on Friday afternoon at Art Murray Field. The Spartans won the opener, 8-4, but the Fighting Scots rallied from two runs down late in the nightcap to win in walk-off fashion, 5-4.  

The Spartans move to 20-11-1 overall and take two out of three versus Wooster this season. The Fighting Scots stay above the .500 mark at 12-11.  

In game one, Wooster got on the board twice in the first following an RBI double by Billy Farrow and a sacrifice fly from Johnathan Ray. The Scots increased their advantage to 3-0 in the third with an RBI double from Zac Mathie, but the Spartans quickly answered as junior centerfielder Paul Pakan (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) led off the fourth inning with a homerun to dead center. Later in the frame, Zak followed Pakan's lead and bombed a two-run homer to left center, tying the score at three.

Wooster briefly regained the lead with a solo homer off the bat of Farrow in the fifth, but Case once again responded when freshman utility player Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) connected on the opening pitch of the sixth and pulled the ball over the right field wall for his third homer of the spring.

Case then grabbed the lead for the first time in the seventh with the eventual winning run when senior outfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) drove an opposite-field double to right, plating junior shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge), who reached on a single. The Spartans added three insurance scores later in the inning as junior first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) singled home Alexander then came around to score on an error. Zak provided an RBI double to close the scoring.

On the mound, senior right-hander Zach Fry (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) pitched the final four innings in relief, allowing one run with four strikeouts to improve to 2-0 for the season. Junior "southpaw" Jamie Hora (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg) started and allowed one earned run in three innings with three strikeouts.   

For the game, Zak was 3-for-3 with a homer, two doubles and three RBI. Alexander and Gronski were each 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Kyle Koski took the loss on the hill for Wooster, while Farrow was 2-for-4 at the plate with the homer and two RBI.

In game two, the Case offense picked up right where it left off as Pakan hit another solo homer to center in the top of the first – his fifth of the year. In the second, the Spartans tacked on two more with RBI singles from Gronski and Keen, but Wooster was able to get two back with a solo homer from Ray and an RBI single from Ryan Miner in the bottom of the inning. The Spartans added another score in the fourth thanks to an RBI double from Keen, but Wooster rallied with two in the sixth on a single by Mathie.

After Case went scoreless in the seventh, Wooster generated some two-out magic with a single, a hit batter, and the game-winning single by Cal Thomay.

Sophomore closer Jose Vega (Strongsville, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing one earned run in 1.1 innings. Junior lefty Jarrett Gish (Jupiter, Fla./Suncoast) started and surrendered four earned runs in 5.1 innings with four strikeouts.  

Zach Klein earned the win for Wooster with two shutout innings out of the bullpen.

For the game, Keen was 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Spartans. Craig Day and Ray each collected two hits for the hosts.

Despite ominous weather reports, the Spartans are scheduled to return to action tomorrow afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader versus Bethany College (W. Va.) at Nobby's Ballpark in Cleveland.