CWRU Baseball Opens Season with Loss at #16 Shenandoah

CWRU Baseball Opens Season with Loss at #16 Shenandoah

The Case Western Reserve University baseball team opened its 2017 campaign on Saturday afternoon with a 13-6 loss to 16th-ranked Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

CWRU senior left fielder Josh Neal led the Spartans at the plate, going three-for-four with a triple and two RBIs, and sophomore third baseman Jacob Kucia went two-for-four with a solo home run, the first of his career.

A pair of home runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning by Shenandoah's Dylan Stouffer and Jake Loew put the Spartans into an early 3-0 hole, and a run in the bottom of the second extended the Hornets' lead to 4-0.  The score remained the same until the top of the fifth, when junior second baseman Alex Capetillo plated junior designated hitter Dan Watson with a groundout, and Neal followed with an RBI base hit to score senior right fielder Tony Damiano, cutting the lead to 4-2.

Shenandoah responded with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Kucia's solo home run in the top of the sixth trimmed the Hornets' lead to 6-3.  The Spartans added two more runs on an RBI triple from Neal and a run-scoring single from senior catcher Eric Eldred in the top of the seventh, pulling back within a run, 6-5.

However, the Hornets put the game out of reach in the seventh, taking advantage of a pair of CWRU errors to score four unearned runs and seven total in the inning, pulling out in front 13-5.  The Spartans got a run back in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by sophomore Tyler Wypiszenski, but it would be too little too late for CWRU.

Senior co-captain Jake Shields pitched five innings for the Spartans, taking the loss to drop to 0-1 on the year.  Colin Morse improved to 1-0 with the win for Shenandoah.

The Spartans fell to 0-1 on the year with the loss, while Shenandoah improved to 5-0.

The Spartans and the Hornets will complete their season-opening three game series with a doubleheader on Sunday, starting at 11:00 a.m.