Spartans Score 18 in Game Two, Split Doubleheader at John Carroll

Matt Keen (photo by Ryan Baker)
Matt Keen (photo by Ryan Baker)

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University baseball team scored a season-high 18 runs in game two as part of a doubleheader split at local-rival John Carroll University on Tuesday afternoon at Schweickert Field. The Spartans were shut out in the opener, 11-0, but rebounded to take the nightcap, 18-8.

With the split, the Spartans (23-10) have now won 14-of-18 heading into their annual Progressive Field game tomorrow afternoon versus Ohio Northern University at 2:00 p.m. With inclement weather in the forecast, Cleveland Indians officials will decide in the morning whether the game will be played tomorrow or move it back to Thursday, April 25.

Combined for the day, senior shortstop Matt Keen (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) was 4-for-9 with four runs batted-in and a stolen base. 

In game one, the Blue Streaks (21-12) scored early and often with two in the first, three in the third, four in the fifth and two in the sixth. Jimmy Spagna highlighted the offensive surge with two homers, a triple and seven runs batted-in as part of a 4-for-4 effort at the plate. Mitchell Herringshaw also reached base four times with two hits and two walks.

In his first start of the season, junior right-hander Josh Suvak (Independence, Ohio/Independence) lasted just one inning and allowed two runs (one earned) to fall to 2-2 for the season. Freshman Connor Tagg (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) threw 3.1 innings in relief, while junior Jose Vega (Strongsville, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) made his first appearance in nearly a month and recorded the final five outs.

Aaron Lapaglia (7-0) shut the Spartan offense out for six innings, allowing just four hits without a walk.

In a quiet game at the plate, the Spartans were led by junior outfielder Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) who was 2-for-2 with a double.

Game two took on a completely different identity right off the bat as the Spartans scored one in the first, three each in the second and third, seven in the fourth and four in the eighth. Keen hit a two-run single to highlight the second, while Dague hit an RBI triple down the left field line in the third. Keen then drove in two in the seventh with two separate RBI singles as his squad batted around the order.

In the eighth, sophomore outfielder Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) shot a two-run double down the left field line, while senior first baseman Brett Ossola (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) ripped a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield.

John Carroll accounted for its eight runs with two in the third, three in the fifth and three in the eighth. The hosts threatened to add to their game two total, but Gronski made a fine diving catch on a liner hit to the gap off of the bat of Spagna.

On the mound, freshman right-hander Neal Krentz (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser) overcame suspect defense in the third and improved to 3-1 with three earned runs in five innings. Junior lefty Ray Kelly (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) tossed two shutout innings in relief with five strikeouts.

In addition to Keen, senior second baseman Paul Pakan (Tallmadge, Ohio/Tallmadge) was 3-for-4 with an RBI, a double and two runs scored. Sophomore centerfielder William Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a double and a walk, while Dague drove in three.

For the Blue Streaks, Spagna started on the mound but only lasted two innings to drop to 2-6 for the season.

Offensively, Bobby Sabatino and Connor Marrero were each 2-for-4, while Marrero scored twice.

Following the Progressive Field game versus ONU, the Spartans return home to Nobby's Ballpark to host Washington & Jefferson College (Pa.) in doubleheader action on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m.