GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sophomore designated hitter Noah Sherman (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Preparatory) and senior shortstop Andrew Frey (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) each homered twice in game two, and the Case Western Reserve University baseball team scored a combined 31 runs while winning a pair of games to complete a 4-0 season-opening weekend.
The undefeated Spartans collected 24 hits to beat Franklin & Marshall College (Pa.), 18-3, in the first game of the day. Then in the second game of the day, the Spartans outslugged host Guilford College (N.C.), 13-12, with the winning run in the top of the ninth.
Through four games this season, CWRU boasts a team batting average of .426 with 10 homeruns and 62 runs overall.
For the day, Sherman was a combined 5-for-7 with two homers, six RBI and three runs scored. Frey scored four times and drove in four runs with his multi-homer effort.
Junior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) also collected seven hits in 10 at-bats. In four games, "Gronk" is batting a whopping .714 (15-for-21) with two homers, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Versus Franklin & Marshall (1-1), the Spartans picked up right where they left off yesterday with eight runs in the first inning. Gronski provided an RBI single, junior catcher Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) doubled home a pair, and senior rightfielder Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) hit a two-run single. Dague tripled home two more in the fourth as the Spartans scored three each in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
For the game, eight Spartans recorded at least two hits. Gronski was 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored. Junior designated hitter Will Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs, and Dague finished 2-for-5 with a career-best four RBI.
On the mound, sophomore Neal Krentz (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser) improved to 1-0 with five innings pitched and two runs allowed. Three others threw in relief, including freshman Andrew Rossman (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) with two scoreless frames in his collegiate debut.
Against Guilford, the Spartans opened up a 5-0 lead in the first inning behind two two-out homeruns from junior outfielder Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) and Sherman. Gronski singled and Frey walked to set up the Cain home run, while Swisher doubled ahead of Sherman's bomb.
The lead would not last long, however, as Guilford answered with five unearned runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Corey Wallace and Grayson Tuttle each drove in two runs with a triple and a homer, respectively.
CWRU would retake the lead with two runs in each of the next two innings, before Guilford scored six in the bottom of the third to grab an 11-9 lead. Frey continued the Spartan power surge with a two-run homerun in the second before sophomore second baseman Mike Ilacqua (Mayfield Village, Ohio/University School) and sophomore first baseman Zack Tobias (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) each singled home a pair in the third. The Quakers' six runs in the third come on a Wallace homerun, two singles and an error on a sacrifice bunt.
In the fourth, the Spartans would climb back on top thanks to another Frey homer and Sherman's second long ball of the day. CWRU would hold on to that lead until Tuttle blasted his second homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 12.
Tobias put CWRU ahead for good in the top of the ninth inning when he doubled to right field to score freshman outfielder Aaron Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban). Junior Dan Sondag (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) then came out of the bullpen and slammed the door with a scoreless bottom of the inning.
Six Spartan pitchers appeared in the game overall. Senior Ray Kelly (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) earned the win with two innings of one-run ball and two strikeouts. Sondag's save was his first of the year and sixth career. In middle relief, junior Rob Winemiller (Twinsburg, Ohio/University School) logged three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
Offensively, Sherman was 4-for-5 with the two homers and four RBI. Tobias finished 3-for-6, while Kerrigan Cain and Frey each drove in three.
CWRU returns to action on Saturday, March 1 when it opens up a three-game road series at regional rival, The College of Wooster. The teams will play a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday, then play once more on Sunday, March 2.