Kelly’s Relief Outing Highlights No. 21 Spartan Sweep of Bethany

Ray Kelly threw four shutout innings of relief with six strikeouts in game two. (photo by Laurie Dague)
Ray Kelly threw four shutout innings of relief with six strikeouts in game two. (photo by Laurie Dague)

CLEVELAND – Senior captain Ray Kelly (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) threw four nearly perfect innings of relief in game two as the No. 21 nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University baseball team completed a 4-0 weekend with a doubleheader sweep of Bethany College (W. Va.) on Sunday afternoon at Nobby's Ballpark.

The Spartans (23-7) were victorious versus the Bison (12-9) by scores of 10-6 and 8-4.

Kelly (4-1) entered the second game with his team trailing in the top of the fourth. He struck out the side in that inning and did not allow a hit or a run for his entire outing. The lone runner to reach on the left-hander reached on an error.

Offensively, junior outfielder Will Meador (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Kilbourne) went a combined 4-for-6 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Junior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) also collected four hits in nine at-bats with three RBI, while junior catcher Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) and sophomore first baseman Zack Tobias (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) each homered. Junior second baseman/first baseman Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) drove in five runs for the day.

In game one, the Spartans erased a 1-0 deficit with four runs in third and five in the fourth. Cain and Swisher accounted for the runs in the third with a two-run single and two-run homer, respectively. The fifth featured Tobias' three-run bomb to left. Bethany did most of its damage late with two in the fifth and three in the top of the seventh.

Freshman Jake Shields (Hamilton, Ohio/Ross Senior) improved to 5-1 with two earned runs allowed and six strikeouts in five innings of work. Junior Eddie Abramson (Maitland, Fla./Winter Park) recorded the final out of the game for his first save.

Meador was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Freshman catcher Eric Eldred (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) and freshman outfielder Antonio Damiano (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast) each finished 2-for-3.

The Bison were led at the plate by Zack Miller, who was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Cory Kotopka (0-1) took the loss in his first appearance on the mound.

In game two, Bethany held a 3-0 lead until the bottom of the third when Gronski provided an RBI single and Cain hit a sacrifice fly. Riding the momentum of Kelly's first inning, the Spartan offense scored six times in the fourth to grab an 8-4 lead. Meador, Swisher and sophomore second baseman Mike Ilacqua (Mayfield Village, Ohio/University School) all provided RBI singles.

Offensively, Gronski finished 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Cain was 2-for-2 with a pair of sacrifice flies.

Dylan Wassel went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs for the visitors. Garrett LaPiana (0-1) pitched the first three innings in the loss.

The Spartans remain at home to host the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburgh on Thursday, April 17 at 4:00 p.m. at Nobby's Ballpark.