No. 21 Spartans Split Sunday Twinbill with No. 18 Marietta

Andrew Frey (photo by Ric Kruszynski)
Andrew Frey (photo by Ric Kruszynski)

CLEVELAND – In Sunday's Top 25 showdown, the No. 21 Case Western Reserve University baseball team split a key regional doubleheader with No. 18 Marietta College at Nobby's Ballpark.

The Spartans (18-6) claimed the opener, 10-5, while the Pioneers (15-9) won the nightcap, 9-1.

For the day, junior catcher Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) was 4-for-8 with a walk, a double and an RBI, while senior shortstop Andrew Frey (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) finished 3-for-7 with four RBI.

Senior left-hander John Fortunato (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis de Sales) improved to 5-1 in the opener, allowing three earned runs and striking out four in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

The Spartan offense aided Fortunato's effort with a five-run second inning that included a two-run single by Frey, an RBI single by junior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson), and an RBI double by junior second baseman Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban).

Marietta got its first run in the top of the fourth thanks to an RBI triple by Clint Roche, but the Spartans covered that score and more with three tallies in the fifth. After a balk brought one run home, sophomore first baseman Zack Tobias (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) and freshman outfielder Antonio Damiano (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) hit back-to-back RBI doubles down the right field line.

The Spartans would add two more runs with a Swisher RBI single in the sixth and a Frey sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Pioneers scored their remaining runs with two in the seventh and one each in the eighth and ninth.

For the game, Swisher was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Damiano was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Tommy Crowl (1-1) took the loss for Marietta with three innings pitched. At the plate, Roche was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

In game two, Marietta grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first then tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth. Three innings later, the Pioneers put the game away with five runs on three hits and an error. The Spartans' lone run came in the bottom of the eighth via a Frey RBI single.

Josh Ungerbuehler went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for the visitors. Christian Demko and Mitch Geers each collected two hits.

Tyler Nieberding (3-0) limited the Spartans to just seven hits over his eight innings with three strikeouts. Junior Kevin Johnstone (Placentia, Calif./Valencia) fell to 3-2 for CWRU with three earned runs allowed in four innings.  

In a quiet game for the offense, senior rightfielder Jordan Dague (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) was 3-for-3 with a run scored. Frey finished 2-for-4.

The Spartans are back in action at local-rival John Carroll University at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8 in University Heights. The team plays another single game on Wednesday, Apr. 8 at regional foe, The College of Wooster, at 4:00 p.m.