The Case Western Reserve University baseball team split a doubleheader against Marietta College in its final home games of the 2016 season, as the Spartans shutout the Pioneers 2-0 in the first game, before suffering an 8-1 loss in the second contest at Nobby's Ballpark on Sunday.
The loss in the second game of the doubleheader ended the Spartans' season-long winning streak at nine games, as the team's record moved to 25-13 for the season, while Marietta stands at 22-13 with the split of the doubleheader.
Game 1: CWRU 2, Marietta 0
Case Western Reserve freshman Mark Gross and sophomore Liam Killingstad combined to pitch the team's second-straight shutout, as the Spartans topped Marietta 2-0 in the first game of the day.
Gross started and went six innings, allowing just three hits and six walks, while striking out a pair. He earned the win in the game, improving to 3-4 on the year, while lowering his season ERA to 2.96 with the effort.
The Spartans scored both of their runs with two outs in the bottom of the third. After Marietta starter Tyler Nieberding retired the first two batters of the inning, junior left fielder Josh Neal started the rally with a double, and was driven in a batter later on an RBI single by freshman shortstop Rocco Maue with two strikes. Maue would advance to second on a throw, and then score when sophomore designated hitter Daniel Watson singled to center on the first pitch of his at bat.
The two runs would prove to be enough as Gross held the Pioneers off the board through six innings. Killingstad entered the game in the seventh, and scattered three hits and a walk, while notching a key strikeout with the tying runs in scoring position to end a Marietta threat in the eighth. Killingstad would close out the victory for the Spartans, earning his second save of the season.
Nieberding took the loss for Marietta, dropping to 0-2 on the year.
Game 2: Marietta 8, CWRU 1
The Spartans' scoreless innings streak ended at 19 innings, when Marietta took advantage of three CWRU errors in the top of the second to score three runs off starter Preston Williams. The Pioneers added three more in the top of the fifth, and two more in the ninth, en route to the 8-1 win.
The Spartans' lone run came in the bottom of the eighth, when junior center fielder Aaron Cain and Neal started the inning off with back-to-back doubles. Neal had two of the Spartans' six hits in the game, finishing the contest two-for-three with an RBI.
Williams suffered his first loss of the year in the game, falling to 5-1 with the setback. Freshman southpaw Corey Brown pitched 2.2 solid innings of relief, allowing just one hit, and sophomore Nate Glasser added a hitless inning of work out of the bullpen.
Kordell Antill pitched five innings out of the bullpen for Marietta, holding the Spartans to a run on three hits to earn the win, improving to 3-1.
The Spartans will conclude their regular season on Tuesday, April 26th, when the team will play its annual game at Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians, against John Carroll University at 2:00 p.m. The game is free to attend, but fans must print out a ticket at athletics.case.edu/ProgressiveField. In addition, prior to the start of the game, Case Western Reserve will honor its six graduating players – Eddie Abramson, Neal Krentz, Lee Penzarella, Tyler Schovanec, Connor Tagg, and Zack Tobias – with a special 'Senior Day' ceremony prior to the start of the game.