CLEVELAND - Senior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Davidson) hit a three-run home run to back a strong starting pitching effort from sophomore Connor Faix (Brunswick, OH/St. Edward) as the Case Western Reserve baseball team defeated visiting Otterbein University 5-2.
Gronski hit hit home run in the third inning to break a 1-1 tie and put the Spartans ahead for good. Sophomore outfielder Antonio Damiano (Naples, FL/Gulf Coast) reached on an error to open the inning and senior first baseman Rob Winemiller (Twinsburg, OH/University School) was hit by a pitch before Gronski lofted a shot over the right field wall.
Faix pitched seven innings, scattering six hits and five walks, yielding only a two-out run in the first inning to earn his first victory of the season. Senior Dan Sondag (Cary, NC/Green Hope) retired the only batter he faced with the bases loaded in the ninth inning for his fourth save of the season. Senior Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Sutherland) made a diving stop at first base, his only inning in the field, and threw to Sondag for the final out.
Senior second baseman Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, OH/Archbishop Hoban) singled in Damiano in the first inning to tie the game 1-1. Damiano was hit by a pitch before stealing second and third base.
Sophomore centerfielder Aaron Cain (Hartville, OH/Archbishop Hoban) singled in the Spartans' fifth run in the sixth inning. Sophomore catcher Eric Eldred (Tecumseh, MI/Tecumseh) singled to start the inning, stole second base, and then moved to third on a sacrfice bunt by sophomore leftfielder Josh Neal (Gaithersburg, MD/St. John's College).
Damiano reached base three times in four plate appearances, scored two runs, and stole two bases. Swisher and freshman shortstop Danny Souza (Hollister, CA/Palma) each added a hit. Junior Connor Tagg (Springfield, VA/West Springfield) pitched a scoreless eighth inning.