Josh Neal, Aaron Cain Key Offensive Outburst as Spartan Baseball Wins 8th in a Row, 14-6 at No. 8 Heidelberg

Josh Neal (photo by David Schofield)
Josh Neal (photo by David Schofield)

CLEVELAND - Sophomore leftfielder Josh Neal (Gaithersburg, MD/St. John's College) and sophomore centerfielder Aaron Cain (Hartville, OH/Archbishop Hoban) combined to drive in seven runs, including three in a six-run first inning, as the Case Western Reserve University baseball team won its eighth consecutive game, 14-6 at No. 8 Heidelberg University.

The Spartans jumped on the board in the top of the first inning on a one-out triple by senior third baseman Andrew Gronski (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Davidson) and a run-scoring infield single by senior shortstop Kerrigan Cain (Hartville, OH/Archbishop Hoban). Senior designated hitter Jordan Swisher (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Sutherland) and senior first baseman Rob Winemiller (Twinsburg, OH/University School) both singled to load the bases before sophomore catcher Eric Eldred (Tecumseh, MI/Tecumseh) singled home Kerrigan Cain and a sacrifice fly by Aaron Cain scored Swisher for a 3-0 lead.

Neal struck for the first time with a two-run double to right-center and scored on a single by junior second baseman Zack Tobias (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) to finish the six-run opening inning.

Neal keyed a three-run third inning for the Spartans, doubling in two more runs. Winemiller opened the inning with a single, Eldred reached on an error by the third baseman, and Aaron Cain singled to load the bases and set up Neal for his third and fourth runs batted in of the game. A groundout by Tobias scored Aaron Cain and expanded the Spartan lead to 7-0.

The Student Princes fought back with five runs in a sixth inning that featured two home runs, two infield hits, and a dropped fly ball.

Aaron Cain increased the CWRU lead back to six runs with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning, scoring Kerrigan Cain and Swisher.

A third Heidelberg home run in the bottom of the seventh inning made the score 11-6, but the Spartans erupted for three more runs in the eighth inning. Tobias started the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a flyout. Gronski singled him home, moved to second on another wild pitch, and reached third on a Kerrigan Cain single. Swisher grounded out to score Gronski and Winemiller singled through the right side to score Cain and make it 14-6.

Senior pitcher Kevin Johnstone (Placentia, CA/Valencia) threw 5.1 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out three to move to 3-2 this season.

Neal went 2-for-4 with his two doubles and four runs batted in, Aaron Cain went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in, while Kerrigan Cain finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI, and Winemiller contributed three hits, two runs scored, and one RBI. Tobias finished with two hits and two runs batted in, and Gronski added two hits, two runs scored, and one RBI.

The Spartans moved to 16-9 and next face Wittenberg University in a doubleheader at home Saturday at noon.