The Case Western Reserve University baseball team rallied to cut an early 9-0 deficit to a single run, but ultimately could not get over the hump, as the New York University Violets handed the Spartans their first loss of the 2016 University Athletic Association Championships, 10-8, at the halfway point of the tournament in Sanford, Florida.
With four games remaining in the tournament, the Spartans moved into a tie for first-place with Emory in the conference standings with a 3-1 UAA record each. Washington University (Mo.) could join the pair atop the UAA leaderboard with a win in the late game on Wednesday.
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Spartans, who dropped to 6-5 overall in 2016. NYU improved to 3-6 overall and to 1-3 at the UAA Championships.
The Violets scored four runs in the first, three in the second and two in the third to take a 9-0 lead over the Spartans. Freshman southpaw Corey Brown entered the game in the third and got the final out of the frame. He went on to pitch three more scoreless, hitless innings for the Spartans, walking three and striking out one in relief to halt the NYU offense and give CWRU an opportunity for the comeback.
In the bottom of the third, Case Western Reserve sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs during the frame to pull back within two. The Spartans took advantage of a pair of errors by the Violets to score six unearned runs. Junior centerfielder Aaron Cain drove in a pair of runs during the inning with a double, and freshman shortstop Rocco Maue capped off the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to shortstop.
The Spartans added another run in the fifth on an RBI double from Maue, scoring sophomore designated hitter Nate Glasser and cutting the lead down to a run, 9-8, but Maue would eventually end the inning when he was thrown out trying to score on a sacrifice fly. The Spartans would also get the potential game-tying run in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, but could not plate the equalizer on either occasion.
NYU added a run with a solo home run from Jake Smith in the eighth, extending the lead to 10-8 and securing the win.
Maue ended the day four-for-six at the plate with two runs batted in, a run scored and a double and raising his batting average to .341. Glasser, freshman third baseman Mike Najmowicz, sophomore second baseman Alex Capetillo and junior rightfielder Tony Damiano each had a pair of hits during the game.
NYU reliever Matthew Wells earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season, while Matthew Millus claimed his second save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. Lee Penzarella took the loss to fall to 2-1 for CWRU.
The Spartans will be back in action at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th, when the team takes on Washington University (Mo.) at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Florida.