Spartans Rally to Upend JCU in Regular Season Finale

Bradley Potter (photo by Matt Napfel)
Bradley Potter (photo by Matt Napfel)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University baseball team rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the sixth inning to close out the regular season with a 12-7 win versus local-rival John Carroll University on Monday afternoon at Nobby's Ballpark.

The Spartans finish at 27-16-1 overall and still maintain an outside shot of landing an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament. With the loss, JCU falls to 17-18.

John Carroll got on the board early with four runs in the first on four hits and an error. Jimmy Spagna provided the key hit with a two-run triple. The Blue Streaks added two to their advantage in the fourth with a sacrifice fly from Mark Huddle and an RBI single by Joe Veltri.

The Spartans then mounted a furious two-out rally in the sixth, scoring five runs on five hits beginning when senior catcher Peter Zak (Brookline, Mass./Brookline) was hit by a pitch to force home freshman infielder William Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne). Freshman infielder Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) then stepped in as a pinch hitter and ripped a two-run single to right, bringing the score to 6-3. Senior outfielder Jimmy Abed (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) and senior second baseman Bobby Marko (Lyndhurst, Ohio/Brush) followed with back-to-back RBI singles to make the score 6-5.  

In the seventh, the Spartans completed the comeback with four more runs as freshman utility player Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) hit a sacrifice fly, Abed hit an RBI single and two runs scored via errors. Case then added three insurance scores in the eighth on a two-out, bases-clearing single by Zak.

Senior righty Bradley Potter (Rochester, N.Y./Gates-Chili) threw the final five innings in relief and did not allow an earned run, striking out four to improve to 3-4 for the season.

For the game, Zak was 2-for-4 with four runs batted-in, while Abed was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Senior leftfielder Sam Alexander (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) was 1-for-2 with two walks, and Cain was 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Joe Bossard took the loss on the mound for JCU, while Spagna was 2-for-4 with two RBI.