SANFORD, Fla. - Sophomore designated hitter Noah Sherman (Kensington, Md./Georgetown Preparatory) went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and the No. 24 nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team clinched at least a share of a second-straight University Athletic Association Championship with a 9-6 victory versus Emory University (Ga.) on Saturday afternoon at Sanford Memorial Stadium.
The Spartans (11-3) finish the championship with a record of 6-2. The Eagles (14-7, 5-2 UAA) play Brandeis University (Mass.) in the finale tomorrow afternoon and need a win to share the UAA Championship with the Spartans.
The four-hit game was Sherman's third this season. All four hits were singles, and one came during the game-deciding three-run Spartan seventh. As a team, CWRU banged out 15 hits.
The Eagles opened the scoring with four runs on four hits in the top of the second. Jared Welch, Jared Kahn and Brett Lake all provided RBI singles. The Spartans took advantage of an error to get two back in the bottom of the inning then tied the the score at 4-4 with two in the third on back-to-back RBI singles from Sherman and senior outfielder Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton).
After a scoreless fourth, Emory came back with two more in the top of the fifth on an error and a Philip Maldari RBI single. Undaunted, CWRU responded again with two in their half of the inning as Sherman and junior outfielder Will Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) each hit RBI singles of their own.
Junior reliever Rob Winemiller (Twinsburg, Ohio/University School) completed a second consecutive 1-2-3 inning to hold the momentum, and the Spartan offense capitalized with three runs on three hits and an error in the seventh. Freshman outfielder Aaron Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) provided the key hit in the inning with a bases-loaded RBI single through the left side. The next two runs came home via an error and a groundout.
Winemiller (1-0) wound up throwing 2 2/3 shutout innings for his first win. Junior closer Dan Sondag (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) threw the final 1 1/3 innings without allowing a runner to reach for the fourth save.
Jackson Weeg (2-1) took the loss for Emory with one earned run allowed in 1 1/3 innings.
In addition to Sherman at the plate, Meador was 2-for-5 with two RBI, junior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and Dague finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Madari went 3-for-3 for Emory.
The Spartans now return north and will play a four-game home-and-home series with Ohio Wesleyan University next weekend. CWRU will play the Bishops twice in Delaware on Saturday, March 22 at 12:00 p.m. Then, the two teams will come to Cleveland for a noon twinbill on Sunday at Nobby's Ballpark.