Spartans Split Sunday Doubleheader at Ohio Wesleyan

Spartans Split Sunday Doubleheader at Ohio Wesleyan

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team split a doubleheader at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio on Sunday, picking up a 6-4 win in the first game, before falling short in the second contest of the day, 5-2.

The split moves the Spartans' record to 16-12 on the year, while Ohio Wesleyan now stands at 14-6.

Game 1: CWRU 6, Ohio Wesleyan 4
Case Western Reserve junior right-handed pitcher Preston Williams spun a complete-game gem against one of the top-offensive teams in the country, and freshman designated hitter Tyler Wypiszenski had a key three-run double with two outs in the fifth to lead the Spartans to a 6-4 win in the first game of the doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan.

Williams held the Bishops, who began the weekend ranked fifth among Division III teams with a .358 batting average and sixth with 9.8 runs scored per game, to four runs (just three of which were earned) on eight hits, while striking out five without walking a batter.  Williams improved to 4-0 on the year with the win, while loweing his season ERA to 3.77.

After a scoreless first inning, junior catcher Eric Eldred put the Spartans on the board in the top of the second with a two-out RBI single that scored freshman shortstop Rocco Maue, giving CWRU a 1-0 lead.  The Spartans held the one run lead until Ohio Wesleyan scored a run on a ground ball in the bottom of the third, tying the game at 1-1.  In the bottom of the fourth, a passed ball and an RBI single from Aaron Strausbaugh gave Ohio Wesleyan a 3-1 advantage.

The Spartans responded in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out after an error allowed Eldred to reach, followed by back-to-back walks to junior center fielder Aaron Cain and junior left fielder Josh Neal.  After a pop up resulted in the second out of the inning, freshman designated hitter Tyler Wypiszenski cleared the bases with a three-run double, putting Case Western Reserve back out in front of the Bishops, 4-3.  A second error in the inning allowed Wypiszenski to score, giving the Spartans a two-run lead after four and a half innings.

Williams allowed just one more run for the remainder of the game, and Eldred would push the Case Western Reserve lead back to two, 6-4, with a sacrifice fly in the eighth that plated freshman third baseman Jacob Kucia, helping to secure the win.

The complete game was the first of Williams' career, and the first by a Spartans' pitcher this season.  It was the first nine-inning complete game win picked up by a Spartan since former CWRU pitcher Kevin Johnstone recorded the feat on April 21, 2015.

Sophomore first baseman Daniel Watson added a three-for-four performance at the plate, raising his batting average to a team-best .398, and stole his team-leading 21st base of the season during the game.  Wypiszenski was one-for-three with the three RBI double, and leads all CWRU players with 21 RBIs this year.

Pitcher Kevin Zullo started and allowed five runs in five innings for the Bishops, taking the loss to drop to 0-2 on the year.

Game 2: Ohio Wesleyan 5, CWRU 2
Despite a solid start from freshman southpaw Corey Brown, the first of his career, the Spartans had trouble getting their bats going in the second game of the day, ultimately falling short to Ohio Wesleyan, 5-2.

Brown suffered the loss in the game to fall to 0-1 on the year, despite holding the Bishops to four runs on five hits and a walk over his 6.1 innings during the game.

Case Western Reserve and Ohio Wesleyan exchanged runs through the first two innings.  Eldred got the Spartans on the board in the first, drawing a bases-loaded two-out walk to score Neal and give Case Western Reserve a 1-0 lead, but a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning from Aaron Caputo scored Colin Stolly to tie the game.  In the second, the Spartans regained a 2-1 lead when an RBI groundout from Neal scored Kucia from third, but Devin Van Winkle tied the game again in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run to lead off the frame.

From there, both starting pitchers – Brown for the Spartans and Ryan Moss for the Bishops – would settle in.  Brown would face just one batter over the minimum until the seventh inning, following the home run, while Moss faced the minimum and did not allow another hit to the Spartans before being lifted from the game with one out in the eighth inning.  Ohio Wesleyan finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh, opening the inning with a CJ Tosino double and a base hit from Van Winkle, and scoring on a groundout by Steven Moore to take a 3-2 lead.  An RBI single for Michael Blatchford and an error allowed two more runs to cross the plate for the Bishops in the inning, giving Ohio Wesleyan a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth.

Sophomore Nate Glasser would pitch a perfect bottom of the eighth inning, and the Spartans would load the bases in the ninth with one out, but a line drive double play ended the threat and the game.

Moss earned the win in the game for the Bishops to improve to 5-1 on the year.

Case Western Reserve will be back in action this week, when the Spartans host Trine University for a 4:00 p.m. game on Wednesday, April 13th at Nobby's Ballpark.